A Guide to Keeping Your Roof Safe During the Winter

Winter is a rough time of the year when taking into consideration the harsh elements that it often produces, from snow and rain to ice and sleet. Your home is exposed to all of these elements, which often causes plenty of wear and tear. It's your roof that acts as your home's first line of defence. Because of this, there are a number of things that you need to do in order to keep your roof safe during the winter months. The following are some of the steps that you can take to help you prevent potential problems:

Have your roof inspected

You should have a professional roof inspector come and test the durability and strength of your roof. You should make any repairs that you can before the rougher weather of winter hits. There are a few things that you can look for on your own before the roof professional arrives. Walk around your home and look for any loose or damaged shingles. If you spot any loose or damaged shingles, you'll want to have them replaced. However, it could also be a sign that your roof is beginning to show its age and may need to be replaced in its entirety.

Trim branches or remove trees

Trees that are located too close to your roof can be a potential safety hazard. Larger branches that hang over your roof could break and fall onto or even through your roof if it experiences the duress of too much weight due to a heavy snowfall. These branches should be cut down or trimmed back so that they are not near the roof.

Clean the gutters

The gutters should be kept clear at all times. Use a ladder to get up to your gutters in order to clean out any debris that might be clogging them. If you leave your gutters full of debris, there's a good chance they will become clogged. This will lead to rain or snow sitting in your gutters, which can cause a number of problems. Rain can eventually freeze, thereby damaging your gutters and potentially ripping them down. A build-up of water can also lead to leaks through your roof, which can lead to damaged possessions or even structural damage.

While these are a few things that you can do to prevent potential problems, there are a few signs that you should check for throughout the winter months to make sure nothing else is going wrong. The following are a few signs that your roof may have been damaged and will need repairs

Check for shingle granules

You'll only be able to see these if it has yet to snow. Look in your gutters for any shingle granules. If you find a large amount, it means that your roof may need to be replaced because it is nearing the end of its life cycle.

Check for dark spots

If you see any dark or dirty spots on your roof, it may be a sign of some sort of fungus or algae growth. This needs to be repaired, since such a growth can spread and cause damage to the structural integrity of your roof. You'll only be able to spot these if it has yet to snow.

Check for ice dams

If there are icicles hanging from your roof outside of your home, then there's a good chance that you have ice damming. This results when ice builds up along the eaves of your home's roof. Ice damming can result in the shingles on your roof loosening and can even tear off your gutters. Not to mention that it can result in water backing up in your gutters and leaking into your home.

For more information on roof repairs, contact a local professional.