Some of the worst times to have roofing issues are in the winter months. Between the cold temperatures and all of the wet weather, winter roofing issues can cause a lot of discomfort for a homeowner in South Carolina. To avoid common roofing disasters this winter, follow our maintenance tips below.
Clean the Gutters and Check for Repair Needs
Clogged gutters can create big issues for a roof. The debris can create a backup for snowmelt, which can cause ice dams and excess water to pool around vulnerable sections of your roofing. Clearing the debris before the first snowfall will help prevent catastrophes later on in the season.
Gutters not only need to be cleared before winter hits, but they also need to be inspected for repairs as well. An ineffective gutter is just as destructive as a clogged gutter. A downspout should redirect any water at least two feet away from the foundation of your home for adequate damage protection. A professional roofing services company can complete any repairs or replacements on your gutters to get them winter-ready.
Trim Trees Close to the House
Heavy snow and high winds can cause branches to fall on your roof, resulting in major repair needs. Proactively trimming overgrown branches will help minimize roof damage from trees around your property. Pay close attention to branches that already hang over your roof and ones that are precariously positioned. One heavy snowstorm can cause these to come crashing down on your roof when the weight becomes too heavy.
The interior of your roof matters just as much as the exterior when it comes to protecting your home from extreme temperatures. Adequate insulation can help trap warm air in your home and protect it from invasive moisture sneaking its way through the cracks.
There are plenty of insulation types on the market today. You can easily upgrade to more robust insulation for the best protection against cold weather this winter. If you have never taken a look at the insulation in your roof, now is the time.
Insulation can deteriorate over time and may need replacing if you live in an older home. If your home always feels much colder in the winter or your heating system has a hard time keeping your house warm, you may want to inspect your insulation and make necessary changes sooner rather than later. Blown-in insulation may not be as effective as batting or foam insulation depending on the structure of your roof and your comfort requirements.
You may have noticed water damage on your ceiling or a broken shingle here and there but have put off having these issues resolved. During the winter, these problems will only be magnified. Roof inspections from a reputable company can show you where you need to complete emergency work, where you will need to fortify your roof for the winter, and what may become a problem in the future.
Dripping water is an obvious repair need that you won’t want to have to deal with in the cold winter. When water is making its way into your home after a storm, this means that cold air can also leak into your home during the winter, lowering the efficiency of your heating system and creating a less than ideal indoor environment for you as well. Patch these holes using a professional as soon as possible.
Broken or damaged shingles will also produce the same issues. Shingle repair isn’t nearly as invasive as a total roof replacement but can help your roof last much longer than if the shingles weren’t repaired at all. Damaged flashing around your chimney will create gaps in your roofing and open it up to a whole host of problems. Exposed roofing will only get worse with rain, sunlight, and snow damage through the seasons. Repair your roof with a professional contractor before these issues cause irreparable harm.
Clear Heavy Snowfall
As winter progresses, you may have to perform continual roof maintenance to keep your home protected against major disasters. Snowfall higher than 6 inches should be manually cleared from a roof to prevent stress and sagging issues. Clearing snow can also help create an unblocked path for snowmelt to safely flow away from the home and not turn into a destructive icy dam on the top of your roof.
There are tools already on the market that are specific for clearing snow off of your roof without causing damage to delicate shingles. Look for roof rakes or rollers to help you safely clear snow from your roof this winter.