Your roof is perhaps your most powerful weapon against harsh winter conditions. It is in charge of protecting your property from the top down. Before the cold weather sets in, it’s a good idea to double-check that your roof is prepared for the task.
Before winter shuts you out, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected before the weather gets too cold. It’s ideal to do this checkup in the fall after you’ve cleaned out your gutters so that issues are easier to find. To inspect and maintain your roof, choose a professional who is educated in ladder safety and working at heights. We’ll show you how to examine your roof, so you know what to expect from the expert you hire.
What if you find out that your roof needs to be replaced or repaired? Before the winter weather arrives, it’s vital to get your roof fixed. We’ll tell you what to expect from fall maintenance and replacement.
Hanging decorations is also a wonderful activity to do in the fall. Fall is also an excellent time of year to inspect your attic insulation and ventilation. Don’t forget to hang autumn decorations. If you’re an early bird, don’t forget to hang your Christmas lights. There’s plenty to get done before the snow sets in. Here’s how you should prepare your roof for the winter season
1. Fall Gutter and Roof Cleaning
Autumn in Canada and northern United States is synonymous with falling leaves. These are lovely, but they may get caught in your gutters. It’s important to clean up the remaining leaves once the majority of them have fallen. You can read our tutorial or hire a professional to do it for you if you don’t know how to clean your gutters correctly.
Before the winter season, it’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for animal infestations while cleaning out your gutters. Squirrels, raccoons, birds, bees, bats, wasps, and hornets may all live on your roof. To ensure safety concerns are addressed quickly and effectively, you may want to hire a pest control expert to remove any active animals from your property.
Another consideration is that bat droppings might be too high up for you to see or access with your ladder. While your roofer performs a winter roof inspection, he or she will look for signs of animals dwelling in your attic.
Are you sick of cleaning out your gutters every winter? Consider using gutter guards to save time. They do not have an impact on the performance of your roof, but they do prevent leaves from flowing into your gutters.
2. Before Winter Roof Inspection
Roof leaks are a major nuisance, but few people realize that they can be prevented by conducting routine inspections. It’s a good idea to schedule a spring roof inspection so you can detect issues and have your roof fixed before the rainy season begins. A winter roof checkup is also recommended since it may identify minor concerns that might develop into leaks if left unchecked over the winter months. Regular inspections are a sensible investment in terms of savings on repairs and early roof replacement down the road.
Why get your roof inspected in the fall rather than during another season? Roofers may be busier in the fall, as they deal with emergency and reroofing projects all summer. They may provide a free or low-cost inspection to help them gain new customers. As a result, you may save money by getting an assessment done by a roofer in the fall. However, don’t put it off too long into the season. You’ll want enough time to address any concerns before snowfall begins.
It’s critical to fix any issues your roof has before the winter sets in. Roofs may be mended and replaced during the winter, but it is more difficult for the expert and more unpleasant for you.
What should you anticipate if you hire a roofing professional to inspect your roof for a fall? You can’t conduct a thorough roof inspection from the ground. The roofing professional will climb up onto the highest possible position on their ladder and go around your roof carefully. He/she will check every visible part of the roof to verify that it is in good working order.
Your winter roof inspection should include:
- Shingles: During the inspection, your roofing professional will look for missing, damaged, or incorrectly installed shingles. He/she will search for sunken sections of shingles that may be signs of damage. The roofing expert might also detect shingles with a damaged sealant bond. If the loose shingle is in excellent shape otherwise, he/ she can simply seal it.
- Flashing: Roof flashing is a thin metal sheet that surrounds certain roof features, such as chimneys, to prevent leaks. Your roofing professional will examine your flashing for signs of damage, such as bent or rusted seams.
- Valleys: The roof valley is a particularly vulnerable section of the roof, especially in the winter. Roof valleys have various characteristics. Your roofer will make sure that your valleys were installed correctly and that they remain in good condition. They may require cleaning, as pine needles and leaves accumulate in them over time.
- Gutters: Gutter cleaning may not be enough to solve the problem. Your roofer will be on the lookout for leaking, sagging, or misaligned gutters in your gutters.
- Sealant: Roof plumbing vent flashing or other roof features are most likely kept in place by asphalt sealant. Sealant may also be used to cover exposed roofing nails. The roofer will ensure that enough sealant is available and that it hasn’t dried out or cracked over time.
- Signs of damage: Other indications of damage that the roofer will check for when inspecting your roof include:
3. Fall Repairs and Replacements
Your fall roof inspection may have discovered that your roof requires repairs or even replacement. The sealant on cold weather causes the shingles to crack. You should inquire about how your new shingles will be exposed to enough sunlight in the fall if you’re getting a repair or shingle replacement. Then, follow our suggestions for preparing for a roof replacement.
Depending on the issue that caused your old roof to wear out, you may want to choose a new shingle style that can better withstand your weather conditions. IKO’s Performance shingles, for example, provide greater wind and hail protection. If you experience particularly harsh winters with hail and high winds, IKO’s Nordic™ shingles may be ideal for your roof.
4. Check Attic Insulation and Ventilation
It’s about to get a lot colder in the next few months. One of the most important things to do if you want to stay warm, save money on energy bills, and preserve your roof is to have excellent attic insulation and proper attic ventilation. Heat is kept in because of insulation, so you’ll spend less money on your furnace.
Proper insulation also helps your shingles to stay colder, which is important for preventing ice dams and the harm they can cause. Especially if you had an ice dam last year, have a roofer examine your insulation and ventilation, and let you know if it needs to be changed. He/she may also recommend that you add more ice and water protectors during a new roof installation to avoid damage from ice dams.
Your roofing professional may look for indications of leaks and animal infestation while in your attic, as well as check the effectiveness of your attic ventilation. Moisture is able to leave your attic thanks to ventilation. If there is a problem with ventilation in your attic, moisture can accumulate and condense on various surfaces. The resulting water might cause damage to the framing or other components of your property.
What exactly should you anticipate from a full attic inspection? Attics used to be simple to get into. Your roofer only had to pull down the hatch. If your home was constructed recently, though, getting access to your attic may be more difficult. The main entrance is most likely in the master bedroom or even the master bedroom closet. Furthermore, opening up the attic access point for the first time creates a little mess. Afterward, expect some vacuuming cleanup.
It’s worth all the trouble. Maintaining your attic insulation and ventilation will make your home warmer in the winter and minimize ice dams on your roof.
5. Put up Fall and Winter Decor
Are the fall holidays something you’re looking forward to? If you follow a yearly practice of hanging fall décor outside, don’t nail anything to the roof. Never add extra nails to your roof or support heavy things like blow-up decoration with it.
Hanging winter holiday lights in the fall is also a good idea. When the snow falls, it might be dangerous to climb a ladder since it may slip. Learn how to hang Christmas lights safely in the fall.
Prepare Your Roof for the Winter
Take a closer look at your roof. Don’t take it for granted that it will be there for you throughout the year. Spring is a good time to prepare your roof for winter every year. Your modest investment protects your roof from deterioration and allows you to detect problems before they become serious.