For property owners, each season brings different types of challenges for the protection and maintenance of the roof. While the summer season can cause heat-related issues, the winter season can often cause the greatest amount of damage. During the winter season, the variances in temperature from cold weather to the heat of the sun can cause damage. If we happen to get sleet, hail, or snow—the weight can be a major stress to your structure.
These minor issues can turn into major problems. They will not only damage the roof but will also drive heavy costs related to interior water damage.
Below are some helpful tips to help you take care of your roof during winter months when you occasionally experience ice, sleet and snow.
Identify signs of problems
Before the cold temperatures knock at your door, you should look at the existing condition of your roof and fix the problems that are found. Here are the signs you should look for:
Damaged flashings – Check the roof flashing at projections and the perimeter. In case they are not attached properly or are damaged, they can provide higher levels of moisture to the roofing joints.
Cracks – Cracks generally develop if there weight on the roof or hail damage. Check for cracks and also inspect the curb flashing to make sure they have not been damaged.
Inspect the gutters and downspouts – You should check the gutters and downspouts to make sure they are not filled with leaves or any other debris. Anything that obstructs your gutters can cause water (and when it’s cold enough: ice!) to accumulate on top of your roof. This can lead to major damage.
Check for ice dams
During bitter cold months, blocks of ice may prevent water from the melted snow from draining off the roof. So, you need to check for the ice dams. Along with that, you should also ensure debris such as leaves, twigs and dust granules do not clog the gutter drains.
While summer wind and rain can damage your roof, the damage that can occur during winter can cause serious issues.
It’s always recommended that you should get your roof inspected twice per year to promote its longevity. You can schedule the inspection in the fall and spring. Engaging in this work during winter months can also help in preventing minor issues from becoming major issues. While it is quite difficult to access the condition of the roof in severe cold conditions, you can take advantage of breaks to engage in the inspection of your roof. It can help you in finding small maintenance issues like loose flashings and cracks.