Winter is on its way in the Twin Cities and that means it’s time to prepare your home exterior for snow season. At Keyprime Roofing, we emphasize proper roof maintenance and routine inspections because we know what a critical role your roof plays in the overall protection of your home.
Curious what you need to do to prepare your roof for winter? The roofing contractors at Keyprime Roofing share valuable tips below.
1. Examine Your Shingles
One of the simplest things you can do to ensure your roof is prepared for cold weather properly is to conduct a visual inspection of your shingles. Inclement summer weather — especially storms with high winds and hail — can displace shingle granules or loosen entire shingles.
If you notice any cracking or curling, you’ll need to contact a roofing contractor who can advise you on necessary repairs. When it begins to snow, you’ll have plenty of frozen water sitting on top of your house, which could result in damage if your roof isn’t in sound condition. As snow and ice melt, your damaged shingles could allow water to penetrate the structure of your roof.
2. Assess Roof Valleys
Roof valleys are the areas where two sections of your roof meet. These portions of your roof are especially prone to developing leaks because roof runoff converges in these areas before it drains into your gutters. With that in mind, you should always inspect roof valleys before snowy weather hits.
Make sure these areas are free of debris and if your roof valleys feature flashings, make sure they are fully intact and properly installed. If you’re unsure of what to look for, have a roofing contractor perform the inspection to ensure there is no damage or deterioration present.
3. Schedule a Framework Inspection
Having a professional roof inspection annually is a great way to stay ahead of roof damage and deterioration. A roofing contractor can inspect the framework of your roof to assess for potential trouble spots that could result in extensive water damage throughout the winter months. If your contractor locates areas in need of repair, make sure you schedule the work before winter storms hit.
4. Clean Up Roof Debris
Throughout the year, plenty of outdoor debris can accumulate on your roof. Some of that debris — lichen, moss, and algae, specifically — can hold moisture against your roof, making it more prone to deterioration and water damage.
Before cold weather hits, it’s always a good idea to thoroughly clean your roof so you can clearly see any potential trouble spots. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on DIY roof cleaning:
● Clean on a clear day. Always clean your roof under clear skies! The last thing you want is to get stuck on your roof in the rain, so plan accordingly. It’s also helpful to clean on a cool day to reduce your risk of heat exhaustion.
● Use safety gear. Safety first! Before you scale your roof, make sure you don non-slip footwear to reduce your risk of slips and falls. It’s also a good idea to have a partner present who can keep an eye on you from below. Wearing a safety harness is never a bad idea either. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing up on your roof, it’s best to outsource this job to a professional.
● Clear loose debris. If you own a leaf blower, it will speed up the debris removal process considerably. But if you don’t own one, you can also use a push broom or even a regular household broom to clear loose debris from your shingles.
● Remove organic growths. After you’ve removed all loose debris, examine your roof for signs of organic growths, such as algae, lichen, or moss. If you find any plant life, gently scrape away what you can and apply a 50-50 solution of water and chlorine bleach to the area to kill the remainder of the growth. If you don’t want to use bleach, you substitute white vinegar instead. You’ll also need to inspect each area after you’re finished cleaning for signs of water intrusion beneath the shingles.
5. Clean and Inspect Your Gutters
Clogged, dirty gutters are a recipe for ice dams during winter, so before the first snow hits, make sure you thoroughly clean your gutters and downspouts. When melting snow cannot drain off your roof efficiently because your gutters are clogged, it can accumulate and freeze near the eaves of your roof.
As this cycle repeats, you could end up with standing water on your roof, which leaves the structure susceptible to moisture intrusion, leaks, and mold development. During your cleaning process, you should also inspect your gutters and downspouts for signs of damage and deterioration.
If you’re not sure what to look for, have a gutter installation specialist perform an inspection for you. A professional can alert you to potential trouble spots and, if necessary, perform repairs on your gutters.
Inspect Your Attic
Last but definitely not least, perform an attic inspection before winter rolls around. You might not realize it, but your attic holds plenty of clues that may indicate the need for roof repairs or even replacement. Here’s what you should keep an eye out for:
● Staining. If you observe what appears to be dark staining anywhere on the framing members or roof sheathing in your attic, you likely have a roof leak on your hands. You’ll need to have leaks repaired before snowy weather hits or they’ll only grow more severe. Contact a roofing contractor to request a comprehensive inspection and advice on your repair options.
● Soffit vents. Make sure the venting at the edges of your roof is fully intact and free from any blockages. Often, insulation prevents adequate airflow through soffit vents into the attic, so make sure there’s plenty of clearance around each vent.
● Damaged insulation. If your roof contains any leaks, you may find areas of deteriorating or moldy insulation in your attic. If you can see mold anywhere, call a roofing contractor to schedule a full inspection right away. A professional can identify what’s causing the mold growth, as well as install new attic insulation to ensure your home remains comfortable throughout the winter.
● Damaged structural components. If you notice any sagging, cracked, or otherwise damaged structural components in your attic, you need to call a roofing company for a full inspection before it snows. Even a single winter storm can deposit a considerable amount of snow on your roof, and if it’s not structurally sound, you could end up with significant roof damage.
Need Roof Repairs in the Twin Cities? Contact Keyprime Roofing
Preparing your roof for winter is essential to adequately protect your home. Whether you need a professional roof inspection, roof repairs, or a complete roof replacement, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Keyprime Roofing. We specialize in providing Twin Cities homeowners with quality renovations that provide lasting value and our number one goal is your total satisfaction. To learn more about our services or request a free quote, call our Golden Valley, MN office at 952-426-0132 or contact us online.