As the weather turns cold and the holidays come around, it’s a great time to make sure your roof is in tip-top shape for the season. Winter is the time of year that your roof works the hardest to keep your house warm and dry, so take these simple steps to ensure your roof is ready for the weather to come.
Outside: Inspect Your Roof and Gutters
Look carefully at your roof, gutters, and surrounding trees from the ground, but don’t go onto the roof yourself, since this can be dangerous in winter. If you notice anything that needs closer attention, contact EMA Construction’s qualified roofers for a full inspection.
There are a few things you want to be alert for when making your inspection.
- Keep an eye out for any broken or cracked shingles or tiles that are in need of replacement to avoid any leaks and severe water damage. Finding a small problem like a cracked shingle early can save you from needing a big repair later on!
- Look over the roof flashing. Roof flashing directs water from your roof into your gutters and is generally placed at “intersections” in your roof where runoff is heavy. You may also find it on the perimeter of skylights or bordering the chimney. Your flashing may need to be replaced if it appears warped or loosened and is no longer effectively directing water into the gutters.
- Check for “nail pops,” where a nail has popped up over time, which can be identified by shingles raised out of alignment. If not corrected, nail pops can lead to leaks.
- Confirm that your gutters are clear and securely attached to your house. Water pooling in gutters or icicles hanging down are signs that there may be debris clogging the gutters.
- Check for low-hanging limbs near your roof that may fall if snow accumulates.
Inside: Check the Ventilation of Your Attic
Most people don’t consider the inside of their house when thinking about the health of their roof, but the ventilation of your attic can actually have a big impact. Good attic ventilation allows heat to escape in the summer and prevents moisture buildup in the winter. Poor attic ventilation can contribute to the development of an ice dam on your roof after a snowfall.
So how can you tell if your attic needs additional ventilation?
- Look for attic vents on your roof or the eaves. If you don’t see any, it’s likely your attic could benefit from increased ventilation.
- Watch out for thick ice on the eaves – this may be a sign that moisture is becoming trapped in the attic and contributing to ice buildup on the roof.
- Check inside your attic for moisture or frost, which may indicate that moist air from inside your living space is unable to escape.
Don’t let cracked shingles, warped flashing, or a poorly ventilated attic lead to unpleasant surprises on a cold winter day. Give yourself the gift of peace of mind by taking a few minutes this holiday season to inspect your roof.