Ignore winterizing your home and preparing your roof for the harsh winter conditions, and you’ll end up with a couple of thousands less on your balance. Although winter preps are routine tasks, these are, at the same time, super important if you want to prevent gutter overflows, leakages, and ice dams damages. These are just some of the most important winter roof maintenance tips given by the Groom & Co team while we are going to talk about each, and a couple of extra ones, in the continuation of this text.
Get Those Gutters and Downspouts In Order
We’ll start with less technical roof maintenance tasks – gutter and downspout cleaning. If you still haven’t done this, make sure to remove all the debris from these before winter arrives to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof. Ice dams that form around gutters and eaves can damage the roof deck. They prevent proper roof drainage and allow moisture to creep in under the shingles.
If you are living in a one-story house, you can easily handle the cleaning part yourself. However, if you live in a multiple-story house, we highly advise contacting roofing professionals, for safety precautions.
Add Heat Cables
Now that we have mentioned ice dams, we’d also say that you might want to install heat cables in the gutters and downspouts if you want to prevent ice from forming around the roof (especially if winters are harsh and it is snowing heavily in your area). As you can already guess, heat cables would make the ice melt quickly and prevent ponding water and roof flooding.
This task can be conducted by an experienced DIYer, however, if you have 0 experience with installations, either hire an electrician or a roofing professional.
Trim the Trees
Although everybody loves some greenery around their house, and you always decorate those Christmas trees beautifully before the holidays, trees with overhanging branches can cause some serious trouble to your roof.
Snow that builds up on the trees can get super heavy and even turn to ice. If a large ice formation falls on your roof, you’ll have no other choice but to pay a decent amount of money to have it repaired.
It actually doesn’t even matter if it snows heavily where you live or not. Even harsh and strong winds can pose a threat, especially if the tree branches are long and heavy. Obviously, if those trees in your backyard are too high for you to cut those branches off from the ground, contact someone trained to perform the task for you.
Replace Damaged Shingles
Loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced as soon as possible since these expose your roof and your entire home to water damage. Strong winds can blow loose shingles away while water can find its way through the broken ones and get into your home. If the shingles are hard to reach and spread across multiple areas of the roof, it’s way better to hire a roofing company such as Groom & Co to have them replaced or, eventually, repaired.
Repair Damaged Flashing
Most homeowners overlook roof flashing, roof valleys, overhangs, and areas around the chimney. Before winter, make sure to check if your roof flashing is in pristine condition, since, if it is not, water wouldn’t be diverted from the roof. This further leads to leaks, ice dam formation, and, as already said, greater damage. You can replace flashing on your own if you are confident about the task or hire a roofing company to take care of this.
Caulking goes around counter-flashing, chimneys, and vent pipes – all along the roof line, and connects walls with the roof. However, if this sealant gets dry or cracked, or if it hasn’t been replaced lately, water could easily get under the roof.
New caulking can ensure that junctures are dry and waterproof since it retains a better seal and can contract and expand, depending on the external temperature. Thus, removing old caulking and replacing it with a new layer makes so much sense.
Use a screwdriver to scrape off old caulking while being careful not to damage the roofing membrane or flashing and apply a new layer or caulk to protect your home from snow, rain, and winter this season, but for the upcoming ones as well.
Now you know all the tips and tricks on how to do proper winter roof maintenance. And, if you don’t want to do all of this on your own or need any help with keeping your roof in top-notch condition all year long, feel free to contact us anytime. We, Groom & Co, are a reputable roofing, building, and maintenance company operating in the UK, primarily in London, Kent, Surrey, and other parts of South East England.