Winter-Ready Roof: Take A Look At These Surrounding Situations

It may be hot now, but soon it will be winter, and your roof needs to be prepared. If you live in an area where snow and ice are regular visitors, you know you need to ensure you have a roof rake at the ready, along with getting the roof inspected. But it's not just the roof itself that you have to pay attention to. The roof's surroundings also need attention because they work with the roof to protect you and your home during the winter.

Clear out the Gutters and Downspouts

Spring storms, summer winds, and autumn leaf fall can fill up a roof gutter quickly. Having the gutter open and able to accommodate the flow of rain and melting snow off the roof is essential, unless you like having icicles form all around your roof. The icicles can also signal the formation of an ice dam, which can trap snow and rain, leading to leaks in weak spots on the roof. Ensure that the gutter channels are all clear and that nothing is blocking the downspouts, either.

Check All Flashing and the Chimney

Don't assume that just because you never use or rarely use your fireplace that all is well up there. The flashing connecting the chimney and roof can warp and lift out slightly, creating gaps where water can leak through. The chimney itself can be cracked, and the cap can be rusted out. No matter how good your roof is, if the chimney is in bad shape, you can end up with leaks that are just as distressing as those that occur through damage to the roof shingles.

Check Your Home's Insulation

Bad insulation that lets warm air inside the home leak up through the roof is partly responsible for the formation of ice dams. The warm air melts the bottom layer of snow on the roof, which then refreezes into ice when the temperatures drop at night. Good insulation keeps the warm air in, preventing that melt-refreeze cycle. Along with inspecting the roof, chimney, and gutters, you'll also have to get the insulation in your attic or crawlspace inspected to ensure it's in good shape as well.

Roofing contractors can help you identify other issues that you need to address. While the contractors will be able to work on the roof, they can also point out any other problems they see while up on top of your house, giving you time to call other contractors before cold weather hits.