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Roof Maintenance

6 Steps For Winter Roof Prep

November 10, 2022 | 3 min. read

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It can be a rough time for your home when the cold weather hits. Winter weather can do more damage to your roof than general wear and tear. 

However, you can avoid excessive roof damage in the winter by following some essential maintenance steps.

If you’re preparing for the nasty winter weather but need to know what steps to follow to keep your roof safe, you’re in the right place. Rescue My Roof has been helping homeowners maintain their roofs in the winter for over a decade.

We’ll walk you through the six steps to prepare your roof for the winter. Ultimately, you’ll know exactly how to keep your roof in top-notch shape. 

6 Steps to Prepare Your Roof For Winter

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. That’s why taking care of your roof with the proper maintenance steps is essential.

By following these six steps, you can ensure your roof is ready for that next major snowstorm. 

1. Clean Your Gutters

A roofing professional cleaning gutters.

Gutters are one of the most important things to pay attention to in the winter.

If you don’t regularly clean your gutters, the built-up debris can cause blockages. Water will not be able to flow through the gutters properly, and the stagnant water will freeze.

The frozen block of ice in your gutters will increase the severity of ice dams and the likelihood of leaks. If this issue is ongoing for many years, ultimately, you will begin to see cracks in your gutters as the water expands and contracts upon freezing.

Cleaning out your gutters will help prevent ice dams and help to keep your roof at a consistent temperature.

2. Install Heating Cables

Heating cables installed in a zig-zag pattern across a roof.

Installing heating cables on your roof can help mitigate ice dams by melting the snow and ice on your roof. 

Heating cables might increase your energy bills, but they are easy to install and are less expensive than professional alternatives (like steaming your roof).

It’s easier to install heating cables before the snow falls, so get a head start and install them when the weather gets chillier. 

3. Check Out Your Ventilation 

Ventilation in an attic space.

Roof ventilation is essential. Without proper ventilation, you run into many issues: mold in the attic, poor energy efficiency, ice damming, and more. 

Proper ventilation means your roof is a consistent temperature throughout. There won’t be any extreme hot or cold spots, as the exhaust and intake vents are working as they should.

Suppose you notice unusually high energy bills, extremely hot or cold areas in your home, or mildew growing in your attic. In that case, you may need to call a professional to come out and examine it.

Be on the lookout for the signs of poor ventilation and stop the problem in its tracks. 

4. Properly Secure Christmas Decorations

Christmas decorations properly secured to the roof and gutters.

Christmas decorations are all fun and games – until they cause damage to your roof.

Avoid using staples, glue, or screws to secure decorations to your roof. Instead, research alternate solutions that prioritize your roof’s health. 

You can use insulated hooks or clips designed to attach decorations to your roof. Additionally, bungee cords are another great option to keep your decor secure and minimize roof damage. 

5. Trim Low-Hanging Branches

A professional using a saw to trim excess tree branches.

Have any pesky tree branches hanging near your roof? Before the winter hits, you’ll want to trim those back.

Low-hanging branches can scratch your roof when they blow in the wind. This leads to issues like granule loss and can make your shingles less effective.

Additionally, a tree close to your roof can cause algae to grow. Algae love and cling to moisture, which will age your roof faster.

To avoid these common issues, trim back your tree on a regular schedule. Any time you notice it’s getting too close to your roof, it’s time to get the clippers.

6. Inspect Your Roof

You don’t have to be a trained roofing professional to conduct a simple inspection on your roof.

From the ground, if you notice any sagging on your roof, shingle loss, granule loss, or visible flashing, those are issues you’ll want to repair before the winter.

These issues can lead to leaks and moisture getting into the attic. And left unchecked, mold and mildew can begin to rot out the wood of your decking

Conducting a seasonal inspection to notice these issues will allow you to get ahead of them before they cause substantial damage to your home.

Avoid costly repairs or a roof replacement, and inspect your home.

Prepare Your Roof for Winter

The winter can be harsh on everyone – but especially your roof. Your roof has the potential to endure a lot of damage. But, there are steps you can take as a homeowner to keep your roof as protected as possible.

Simple tasks like cleaning your roof of snow, inspecting your roof, and cleaning out your gutters can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. By doing these tasks, you’ve lowered the chance of leaks and water damage. 

If you want to expand your new knowledge, you can continue your education with “Is There A ‘Best’ Time of Year To Install A New Roof” and “10 Signs You Need a Roof Replacement.

You can also download our free Winter Roof Preparation Checklist

Or, you can call in a roofing expert to get their opinion on your roof before the winter hits. If you live in the greater Milwaukee Area, Rescue My Roof is ready to offer our services.
Contact us today to book your free inspection and estimate!