Winter Time Precautions: Keep Your Roof And Home Safe With These Tips

Posted on: 5 December 2017

If the shingles, gutters, and other roofing structures are gradually falling apart, it's essential that you repair them before the cold season arrives. Winter's harsh weather conditions can wreak havoc on your deteriorating roof. Ice dams and icicles could form on your roof and cause significant damage to the rest of your home. Here are some things you can do to keep your roof and its structures safe during the cold season.

Clean and Repair Your Gutters

If your gutters sag, droop, or hang off the edges of your roof, replace or repair them now. Gutters keep water from settling on the surfaces of your roof as well as entering the sides of your home and basement. But if your gutters aren't firmly placed along the roof's edge, they can allow water to penetrate your home.

In addition, if leaves and dirt clog up your gutters, icicles can potentially form along the roof's edge. Icicles can be extremely dangerous if they melt and fall to the ground. Anyone standing beneath a falling icicle can experience head and back injuries.

You can keep your roof, home, and family safe by cleaning and repairing your damaged gutters. If the edge of your roof sits too high, contact a roofing contractor and request that they clean out and repair your gutters for you. If your roof's edge is low enough to clean out by step ladder, follow the tips below:

  1. Obtain a large bucket and small hand shovel.
  2. Cover your hands with a thick pair of gloves. The gutters may contain sharp twigs and insects that can harm your skin.
  3. Position your ladder beneath your gutters. Ask someone to hold and steady the ladder for you.
  4. Place your bucket on the ladder, then carefully shovel out the debris. Empty the shovel's contents into the ladder.
  5. Complete steps 3-4 until you successfully cleaned out the gutters.

Now, use the appropriate tools and equipment to secure your gutters in place. If the gutters are too difficult or damaged to fix, stop and contact a roofer for additional help. Once you clean and repair your gutters, have a professional work on your shingles.

Check and Repair Your Roof

Your shingles can wear down or blow off the roof throughout the year. Snow and ice can melt and seep into the structures beneath your lost or damaged shingles during winter. Your roofing structures and home can experience water damage, wood rot, and mold growth later on.

A roofing contractor will most likely inspect the structures beneath your shingles for holes, tears, and other damages. Even if the surfaces of your roof appear dry, moisture can still soak into the underlayment and boards supporting your roof. If a contractor does find signs of water damage, they may ask to inspect your attic for problems. Unless you inspect the rafters and trusses along your attic's ceiling directly, you might not see or notice any serious issues.

Moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow inside the attic. The fungi may appear along the floorboards in your attic or along the walls. The attic's ceiling may also look dingy or dark from mold.

After a roofer completes the inspection, they can begin the repairs. If your roof is severely compromised by water and moisture, you may wish to go ahead and replace it and its support structures. A roofing contractor may also suggest that you ventilate your attic. The proper ventilation system can help prevent ice dams from developing on your roof by keeping the attic as cold as possible. If heat is allowed to build up in the attic, it can melt the snow on your roof and cause dams to form.

If you're ready to repair your roof's problems, contact a roofing contractor for an inspection and possible repairs today.