The Ultimate Guide to Winter Roof Maintenance

Kids all over the country are headed back to school, which means that fall is upon us. With the changing seasons comes winter preparation for homeowners. It’s just as important to do a health check of your roof as it is to cover the faucet spigots outside of your home on frosty cold nights. In order to make sure that it’s done correctly, this is often a job for a local professional roofing contractor. That being said, there’s still a lot that you can do as a homeowner, preventive winter roof maintenance is crucial to maintain your roof’s integrity and prolong its lifespan.

Winter Roof Maintenance Check List

Attic Inspection

Before you go inspect your roof from outside of your house, it’s important that you inspect your attic or crawlspace first. Climb up to the attic and do a visual inspection to look for the following:

Water Leaks

With a handy flashlight, a homeowner can accomplish a lot in their attic inspection. Look for any dripping water in your attic space and take notice if you see any sign of condensation. If you see water stains on your attic’s ceiling, walls, or floor, it’s time to call in a roofing contractor.

Ventilation

Many winter roofing problems begin when your roof venting fails. Fall is a great time to do an inspection of all roofing venting and soffit vents in your attic space to ensure they’re clear of debris. This should be a regular part of your roof maintenance regimen and completed a few times a year.

Animal Damage

Small animals and pests like birds, bats, squirrels, and raccoons can cause immense amounts of damage to your roof and attic. Look for nests or droppings in the attic as well as any sign of gnawing on the wood, insulation, or wires of your home. If you notice any, contact your local pest control company immediately to address any issues.

Structural Damage

Look for any roofing system damage like sagging or water damage. If you notice either, call a professional roofing contractor to schedule a roof inspection and repair as soon as possible.

Roof Inspection

After inspecting the attic, you should also do a visual inspection of your roof before you schedule a professional comprehensive inspection. Check for damage to your shingles and flashing. If you see any, let the roofing contractor near you know when they come to do your roof maintenance inspection. Professional roofing companies like Columbine Roofing can inspect your roof to ensure its long term health. They can also, depending on the type of shingle used on your roof, can recommend a preventive maintenance plan to keep your roof clean and protected. A professional roofing contractor can:

Repair Shingles

During a visual inspection, if you notice any shingles that need repair, a roofing professional can repair these before winter sets in. Prevent damage from high winds and bad weather before it even starts.

Check Flashing

The flashing on your roof deck is crucial to the entire roofing system. Your roofing inspector will check flashing areas, which are prone to leaking, and make sure that they are sound and in good condition for the impending winter.

Inspecting/Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts

As a homeowner, you will want to prevent clogged drains during the winter. It’s crucial that this is done during fall with your other roofing maintenance tasks, before the weather changes to old man winter’s domain. Autumn leaves can cause a clog in your gutters, obstructing water from flowing and draining off of your roof like it’s designed to. Keeping your gutters clear will also prevent ice dams, minimizing ice damage.

When you clear your gutters, do a visual inspection and take note if have an asphalt shingle roof. If you see any granules in your gutters, it’s time to call a roofing contractor in your area to evaluate whether you need a roof replacement or repair.

Trimming Trees

This is a great time to trim your trees if you see any branches getting close to your roof. Look for branches that may become heavy with snow and break onto your roof during the winter. Also look to see if there are any unstable trees on your property and if you see any, call an arborist to remove them. Trees that are touching your roof cause friction that can prematurely wear out shingles.

Roofing Problems

Problems with your roof system can become catastrophic during winter ice and snow, causing immense amounts of roof damage and putting your home at risk. To prevent roof leaks from ice dams and snow, it’s important to have your roof regularly inspected so that you can continue your proper roof maintenance efforts. However, there are some problems that are beyond repair.

If this is the case, your roofing professional can make recommendations. Contrary to popular belief, you can have a roof replacement completed during the winter (depending on weather conditions). That being said, there’s a lot of roofing problems that can be solved with easy repairs. This is why it’s so important to have regular roofing inspections done.

Clearing Snow

This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how often Columbine Roofing runs into these problems with our customers. Snow can cause a lot of damage to both your roof and your home in a short amount of time. If snow piles up high enough on your roof, it can pose a serious safety risk. For the majority of the time, your roof will be strong enough to face the weight of the snow, but that’s not the real problem you should focus on. When your house is heated, even with insulation, the surface of your roof will be above freezing. This causes the snow in direct contact with your roof to melt, leading to the formation of ice dams and moisture leaking onto your roof, causing serious damage.

Winter Roof Maintenance with Columbine Roofing

Have questions about preparing your roof for our harsh Colorado winters? The Columbine Roofing team is here to help! Reach out to us with any questions or roofing concerns before winter’s first snowfall!