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How to Prepare Your Roof Before Snow and Ice Hit

Fran Beaulieu

March 15, 2021

With winter in full swing, you've already thought about ways to prepare yourself and your family. Maybe you bought new jackets, thicker pants, warm boots, and gloves. While these are all important purchases, you have to ask yourself why you aren't investing any time or energy towards preparing your home for the same winter that's approaching. Even though it's not top of the mind, your home is going to brave the elements 24/7 while you get to stay all warm and toasty on the inside.

This year, you can show your home some love and appreciation by preparing it properly for the turbulent weather ahead. Speak with any residential roofing contractor or residential home improvement specialist, and you'll hear just how important it is to ensure your roof has the best chances of surviving the winter unscathed. In fact, without proper preparation, your home could end up requiring a roof replacement. Let's try to keep that from happening by exploring how you can prepare your roof before the snow or ice hits.

1. Get Rid of Snow Quickly

A layer of snow covering your rooftop like a blanket might make for a picturesque scene, but it can also cause a lot of damage to your roof. Where you see a potential postcard image, a residential home improvement specialist sees a recipe for disaster. While snow might feel light in your hand, imagine thousands upon thousands of snowballs piled up. That's exactly what sits on your rooftop after a considerable snowfall. Anywhere your roof is even a little weak could end up receiving significant damage. By calling a residential roofing contractor, you can successfully remove any snow and ice that might be sitting on your roof to prevent the buildup of these ice dams and the damage that could result.

2. Check and Fix Your Roof's Flashing

Another important consideration when preparing your roof for the winter months is to maintain its flashing. As a residential roofing contractor can tell you, this part of your roof has the potential to become loosened or warped over time, even if the flashing was installed properly. Again, It’s helpful to hire a residential home improvement specialist for this inspection. If a problem is found, the flashing can be replaced or repaired quickly and efficiently. When your flashing is not up to snuff, winter precipitation can easily enter through your roof. This greatly increases your chances of suffering an internal leak. You can apply the same principles to your roof's shingles. If you see any that are starting to chip or peel off, they should be replaced immediately. These steps can end up saving hundreds of dollars on residential home improvement costs or a roof replacement.

3. Clear Out Your Gutters

While icicles might be one of your favorite parts of winter weather, they could be a sign of potential problems if they’re hanging from your gutters. As one of the first places for capturing precipitation, gutters are often the location of ice dams when temperatures dip below freezing. The primary concern with a buildup of ice dams in your gutter system is the strain it puts on your roof. Gutters are designed to redirect precipitation instead of holding the weight for a significant period of time. If this weight becomes too much to bear, the gutters can become damaged. If they end up tearing away from your home completely, you’ll be looking at an expensive residential home improvement bill. It’s much more economical to have a residential roofing contractor inspect your roof to let you know what needs to be done.

4. Check For Wind Damage

When you think about potential sources of problems for your roof in the wintertime, ice and snow are the first two things that come to mind. However, it’s important that homeowners don’t forget about wind damage. Each time you experience heavy winds and winter storms, it’s important to have your home's roof checked out to ensure that no damage was incurred. Broken or missing shingles, along with other battered roofing materials, are telltale signs of wind damage. If these problem areas go untreated, they won’t just cause damage to the roof; they might even result in the need for an entire roof replacement. They might also serve as new homes for harmful mildew, mold, or bacteria. Be sure to call a residential roofing contractor to come and inspect your roof for any potential wind damage.

5. Double Check The Ventilation In Your Attic

Homeowners often don’t think about how their home’s inner workings can impact what happens on the outside and vice versa. However, there is a strong connection between the two. For example, if your attic isn't insulated or ventilated properly, your roof might be exposed to more potential damage in the winter by allowing ice dams to develop. As a result, part of your roof inspection should also involve a trip to the attic to ensure it has sufficient ventilation and insulation. The importance of maintaining proper airflow in your attic can't be understated when dealing with winter-related problems.

6. Clear The Leftover Fall Debris

Autumn is a beautiful season full of colorful changes and falling leaves. However, this season also leaves your home covered in debris. Instead of allowing this junk to sit on your roof, you should make sure your roof is cleared before the harsh winter weather arrives. Unless you want to deal with the potential of having to undergo a roof replacement, it's advisable to have a residential roofing contractor inspect your home and remove any fall-related leftovers. If twigs, sticks, and leaves are left on your roof, snow and ice have extra gription and have a higher likelihood of sticking around. You want to give your roof the best chances of being able to shed winter precipitation.

The Residential Roofing Specialist You Need

The wintertime isn’t easy on your home’s roof. From howling winds and below-freezing temperatures to heavy snowfall and damaging ice, your roof goes through a lot to deliver you a warm and dry winter. In order to ensure your home has the best chances of successfully making it a comfortable winter for you and your family, it’s important to hire a residential roofing contractor to come to inspect your home. Whether you need an entire roof replacement (hopefully not!) or just an inspection, Beaulieu Home Improvement has your back. We’re the residential home improvement specialists that can handle any of your wintertime roofing needs.

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