You have probably heard the saying about having a roof over your head used in many ways. Maybe you heard it from your parents or even have mentioned it to your children. Like food on the table, the roof over your head is fundamental for the protection of yourself and your family. Depending on where you live, it holds up to the pummeling of thousands of gallons of rain, tons of snow, the brutal cold or the scorching heat. Some places get it all. Here are four roof tips to use this fall to get your roof ready for your first winter in your new home.
Trim the Trees
Overhanging branches from nearby trees can be a real problem to your roof. Not only is there the potential for structural damage to the roof surface due to branches moving in the wind, but the shade that trees provide encourages algae to grow on your roof surface.
Cut back tree branches to let your roof be exposed to full sun to prevent algae from growing. Also, keep in mind that tree branches weigh hundreds or thousands of pounds depending on their size. Large trees weigh many tons and are capable of crushing a roof if they fall. Some trees need more than pruning as they may need to be removed to protect the structure of your house.
Clean Your Gutters
If you have experience working at heights with ladders, this is still a big project to undertake yourself. It is messy and slippery, and slippery is not something you want when working on a ladder or a roof. Regardless of whether you clean your gutters or have a professional do it, the work needs done. Open gutters can become clogged even if no trees are close by.
The tiny gravel that coats asphalt roof shingles slowly erodes from their surfaces and can create dams inside gutters to impede the free flow of water. Leaves and seeds, especially maple seeds, can travel in the air long distances to clog gutters. Clean gutters helps prevent problems with snow melt in the winter and prevents damage to your lawn underneath the gutters from overflow.
Get Your Roof Inspected
Call a professional roofing contractor like American Renovations or someone similar to come out and look at your roof. The professional should get on your roof and check the flashing around any chimneys and make sure seals are intact around pipes and vents that protrude through your roof’s surface.
Shingles or tile should be inspected for signs they are reaching the end of their service life. Gutters should be inspected for cleanliness and to make sure they are still solidly attached and properly sloped toward downspouts. If you have an attic, a professional roofer will also thoroughly inspect your attic for new and old signs of water damage. A full report will help you decide what to fix now or budget for later.
If you have ever seen thick ice and snow gathering at the edge of your roof where it meets the rain gutters, this is an ice dam. During the sunny days of winter, snow on your roof can partially melt and refreeze at the roof’s edge into ice. The melting and freezing cycle can cause liquid water to back up underneath the shingles or tiles. If you have seen this occur during a past winter, installing electrified heat tape in a zigzag pattern at the roof edge is a quick fix. Seeking the help of a professional roofing company can allow a permanent fix that does not require heat tape.
Your roof does not have any moving parts that need adjusted or oiled like a machine, but keeping it intact is necessary for the climate protection it offers. Do not let roof problems surprise you. Anything that can go wrong with a roof can be discovered early to prevent structural damage that can end up costing you a small fortune in repairs later that is only a minor fix now.