A Winter Survival Guide for your Roof

In many parts of the country, wintertime can be extremely harsh on an individual’s skin, the car, and especially the roof of the home. How extremely cold it gets, and the amount of precipitation in the region, will both play key roles in determining how much preparation needs to be done to prepare the roof for the extreme winter months ahead. Through precautionary steps, every homeowner can ensure that there are no pre-existing problems before the cold weather hits. In the end, preparing the house will often save hassle, time and money.

Without a doubt, the easiest way to inspect the roof is to use the services of a professional roofing contractor. The roofing company will know exactly what to look for, to ensure that the home’s roof will not leak or become damaged from the extreme weather conditions, especially the build up of snow and heavy winds. There are specific red flags the contractor will look for as an indicator that something needs to be replaced or repaired before the winter months. Usually, the same problems that wreak havoc to the house in the wintertime will often be the same ones that make the roof leak in the summer. Those red flags include:

  • Curled or Buckled Shingles – Improper installation is often a result of a curled or buckled shingle, and needs to be replaced. Curled or buckled shingles can allow snow to build up underneath, making its way into the attic and down into the home.
  • Shingles That Have Blisters – A roof that has blistered shingles is often a result of inadequate ventilation in the attic. A licensed roofing contractor will likely add vents to the roof, the roof line or sides of the attic.
  • Cracked Flashing – Anytime there is a penetration to the roof vents, chimneys, or where the roof meets a wall, roofing contractors install flashing. Over time, the sealant protecting the flashing can dry out and become cracked, often causing a large gaping hole. The crack flashing can be replaced or repaired to eliminate leaking from rain and melting snow.
  • Stained Spots on the Ceiling – Anytime a homeowner or contractor notices stained spots on the ceiling the roof likely needs to be repaired. The leaking may be due to cracked flashing, missing shingles, or a hole at some location on the roof.
  • Leaking in the Attic – Any noticeable sign of staining on the underside of the plywood, along the rafters and beams, or on top of the installation, can all be indicators of a leaking roof.
  • Granules Found in the Gutters – As asphalt shingles age, they tend to lose their granules and wind up in the gutters or out through the downspout. Disintegrating shingles often require a roof replacement.

Maintaining a roof is imperative for the longevity of the house. By performing routine maintenance at least once a year, before winter or summer, the roof can remain protected and provide years of safeguarding for the house, against the harsh elements of wind, rain and snow.

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