The roof is one of the most important elements of the house. If properly installed and maintained, it provides thermal insulation and protection to everyone and everything inside the structure. However, the winter months and extreme weather can be harsh on your roof system. Unfavorable conditions, low temperatures, strong wind and heavy rain and snow, can expose it to serious damage, which is why it’s important to prepare you roof for winter and properly maintain it.
It is worth starting out with a thorough roof inspection with cleaning of the roof surface, which can be done manually or with a pressure washer. It is especially important to open the gutter system. Leaves, branches and dirt should be removed from all gutters, as they hinder proper drainage flow throughout the roofing system. During winter accumulated debris may clog the gutters, causing water to overflow and eventually freeze. This may result in severe damage to your exteriors. When cleaning the gutters, it is also worth checking their stability so that winter winds and rainfall do not loosen the mountings of the system.
If you have concerns about the tightness of your roof, hire an experienced roofing contractor to take a look at it. He will be able to detect the areas of your roof that need attention and decide the best course of action. During the inspection your roofer will take a closer look at various parts of the roof such as the roof valley, the eaves, the chimney and many more. Water flowing down the roof in the winter accesses absolutely all, even the smallest gaps, leading to the penetration of moisture into the deeper parts of the building.
The flashing itself deserves particular attention. During the inspection, it’s important to check if it’s not loose and that the silicone sealant hasn’t crumbled and that all gaskets are in place.
Snow on the roof may look pretty, but it can also cause serious damage. It creates various hazards, depending on the type of roof. On steep structures, where the slope inclination is above 30 degrees, snow usually slides down on its own (especially if the roofing has a smooth surface). Although it eliminates the need to remove snow manually from the roof, it poses a threat to both people and animals around the house. Therefore, it is worth using appropriate snow guards on steep roofs. Appropriately installed at a distance of approx. 1.5 ft. from the edge of the roof, snow guards will stop the sliding snow, which will over time change melt into water that will later be effectively drained through the gutter system.
In the case of a flat roof, the excess of snow is a potential threat to the entire structure of the building, which may even result in its collapse. The only method in this case is systematic manual snow removal of snow. If you do not have the expertise or the necessary equipment, entrust snow and ice removal from the roof to professionals.