The first step to winterizing your roof is extensive inspection. Do not endorse random measures. Generic recommendations do not apply to every roof. You don’t need to go overboard. All you must do is ensure your roof is not vulnerable in any way.
Start with a roof inspection, preferably by a professional company like roofing Ann Arbor Michigan. Recollect when was the last time you had got your roof cleaned, repaired or shingles replaced. The age of the roof will be a major factor. While you are atop your roof, keep an observant eye for loose or missing shingles, leaks and stains, mold and rot, algae and any kind of warping. There could be other obvious signs of damage. Inspect the gutters, flashing and caulking. You should also check the siding just under the roof. You don’t want any leaks or damages there. Check the attic and conduct an inside out inspection. There could be signs of leak or a damaged deck. Determine the steps to winterize your roof based on your inspection. In most cases, these five steps are reasonably effective to avert the usual untoward developments.
- Clean the gutters. There could be anything from granules to leaves, dust and dirt to cracks and holes. You need sturdy gutters and they should be in an impeccable physical condition. If cleaning and repairing the minor glitches are not enough, replace the gutters. You may want to take a hose up and run some generous volumes of water through the gutters to check if there are any leaks, if the gutters are holding up and if they are indeed carrying the runoff away from the foundation of your house. This test will also help you to figure out if the downspouts are clogged.
- Trim any and every branch of a nearby tree that may pose a threat. If there are branches directly above your roof, these must be trimmed first. Consider the possibility of a branch or a portion of it falling on your roof, even if they are not directly above your property. Branches that are at a substantially greater height than that of your property may be swayed by strong winds during winter and can crash land on your roof. Get rid of dead trees around your house.
- Check the insulation at your attic and replace it if necessary. Poorly insulated attics will facilitate the creation of ice dams. There will always be a substantial difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures through the winter months. The fluctuation is enough to cause some of the snow to melt and then refreeze. Only insulation can protect your attic and your property from ice dams.
- You will also need to ensure the attic has adequate ventilation to prevent the formation of ice dams. This is tricky since you may be tempted to seal the open spaces for exhaust fans or hatches to ensure effective insulation. This may allow the temperature inside the attic to fluctuate considerably during the day and night. That can be a problem. You should try and keep the attic cool so it doesn’t promote melting and refreezing of the snow, resulting in ice dams.
- Replace loose and leaking or damaged flashings. Replace cracked, crinkled or wrinkled caulking. Ensure the plumbing vents are alright and the chimney is clean, sturdy and optimally functional.