Winter Roof Preparation Tips
Fall is here in Portland, Oregon. The cooler weather and turning leaves have everyone in a festive fall mood. However, fall also means that winter is coming. A house’s roof is its first layer of protection against the elements, and it’s critical to keep that roof in tip-top shape. Keep the family safe and warm this winter by following these winter maintenance tips. However, do not attempt to perform any work on the roof alone. Any roof work is best left to professional roofing contractors to prevent damage to the roof and bodily injury to the homeowner.
Have a Professional Assess the Framework
A roof’s framework is essential. Make sure to have a roofing contractor inspect the roof’s structure every year. That way, any potential winter issues can be addressed and fixed before the family finds itself with a sagging roof in the middle of the winter. A reputable roofing contractor will spot troublesome problems with the roof’s framework before they lead to leaks or other issues.
Check the Roof’s Flashing
The roofing contractor should inspect the area that meets the flashing of the roof. This area is one of the most common spots for leaks. Make sure there’s a tight seal. Sometimes a storm may knock the flashing loose. Keep moisture out and re-seal these areas if there’s a problem.
Examine the Roof’s Shingles
Again, please do not attempt any roof maintenance alone. Make sure that the roofing contractor inspects the roof’s shingles and replaces any loose or missing ones. If any of the shingles show signs of curling or missing granules, replace them immediately. A professional roofer can install new shingles easily, and he or she can inform homeowners about the roof’s overall condition.
Clean the Gutters
Unless the homeowner has experience working on top of a ladder and a partner to spot them, it’s best to leave gutter cleaning to professionals. Many roofing contractors will come out to clean gutters for homeowners. Overflowing gutters put unnecessary strain on the roof and siding of the house. Make sure all the downspouts are clear. Additionally, ensure that the gutters are securely tightened. Loose gutters can lead to roof damage, so make sure to take care of any gutter issues promptly.
Inspect Roof’s Valleys
The valleys of a home’s roof are vulnerable to leaks. Make sure to have a roofing contractor check the roof’s valleys thoroughly. Also, clear the valleys of any debris. This action reduces the weight stress on those areas of the roof, which can extend the usable life of the roof.
If the roof has any antennas, make sure to check the sealant around the base of them. Have a roofing contractor inspect the sealer around the bases of any plumbing or brick stacks present, too. Over time, sealant can crack, so make sure the roof stays protected and replace the sealant if needed.
Check the Chimney
Ask the roofing contractor to check the chimney. Make sure that no pieces of mortar are missing and that all bricks are secure. If the chimney needs repair, the homeowner may need to contact a masonry contractor. Some roofing contractors may also be able to perform masonry work, so make sure to ask about this before scheduling a roofing inspection.
Examine the Attic
Homeowners may forget to check the attic during a roof inspection. However, it’s critical to make sure that the attic has enough insulation to keep the home from losing heat. Ensure that there’s enough insulation so that heat doesn’t leave the house. A lack of attic insulation can result in higher utility bills during the winter. Additionally, if the heat gets trapped underneath the roof’s shingles, it can lead to ice dams. Ice dams are when the snow melts and freezes in a cycle; these ice dams damage roofs.
Keep an Eye on the Roof
Throughout the winter, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on the home’s roof. If any issues are suspected, make sure to call a professional roofer to examine the damage. Do not attempt to get on the roof during winter, as any ice can cause slippery conditions. Make repairs before storms arrive to ensure the family’s safety and warmth throughout the winter.
Other Exterior Maintenance to Prepare for Winter
While the roof of a home is undoubtedly its first defense against the elements, homeowners should also ensure that the rest of their home’s exterior is ready for the coming winter.
Thoroughly Clean Siding
Ensure that the home’s siding is cleared of any debris that accumulated over the summer. Also, make sure to clean the crevices in the siding; many bugs will use those areas for nesting. If the crevices aren’t cleared out before the winter comes, homeowners may find themselves with hibernating guests for the winter.
Seal Any Cracks in the Siding
If homeowners locate any cracks in the siding of their home, they should make sure to fix those cracks as soon as possible. Excess moisture and air leaks can cause damage to the house if not taken care of right away. Hire a siding contractor if the damage is too extensive to repair alone.
Make sure to trim any overgrown trees, plants, or shrubbery. Clear the areas next to the home. Ice and snow can drip off of nearby trees, which can lead to the formation of ice dams on the roof. Additionally, any ice or snow melting onto the side of the house can damage the siding and reduce its usable life.
How Can We Help?
Our experienced roofing contractors at Dr. Roof, Inc. have decades of combined roofing experience. We can inspect roofs for any potential winter issues here in Portland, Oregon. In some cases, we’re able to come out the same day! Call today for an estimate so the family can rest easy this upcoming holiday season with a fully-winterized roof! We are dedicated to providing high-quality roofing along with other general contractor services.