Your roof is easily one of the most important and most expensive parts of your house. It plays a large role in keeping heat inside and keeping snow, ice, and rain outside, all the while being exposed constantly to the worst that nature can throw at it. And if that wasn't enough, your roof's appearance and condition have a huge impact on curb appeal and the overall value of your home. Although every season holds its own challenges for your roof, winter can be an especially trying time. Luckily, there are several things you can do to keep your roof in the best possible shape throughout the winter and for many years to come.
Perform Basic Maintenance Before Winter Strikes
Before the worst of the cold weather arrives, it will pay dividends to perform some basic maintenance and cleaning tasks on your roof. The most important of these is to check and clean your gutters, preferably late in the fall after the trees have already lost all of their leaves. Although clean gutters are always important, they are especially important during the winter when snow runoff will require an easy path from your roof. Going into the winter with clogged gutters risks leaving moisture trapped against your roof for long enough to risk serious damage.
In addition to checking the gutters, this is also a good time to determine if there are trees with branches that are too close to the roof. Any branches that overhang the roof or that could potentially crash into it should be trimmed. Remember that trimming high branches on trees can be dangerous work, so do not hesitate to call a professional for this job. Again, this is an important maintenance task year-round, but close trees pose a particular hazard in the winter when heavy snowfall can cause them to lean into the roof and damage the shingles.
Inspect Your Roof Early
Your time spent performing basic maintenance will give you a perfect opportunity to inspect your roof for damage, including loose or missing shingles or sections of the roof that appear to have water damage. Roof damage should always be repaired as early as possible, as small problems can get worse very quickly as they are exposed to wind, rain, or snow. If you are not confident in your ability to locate damage on your roof, this is the perfect time to contact a roofing contractor to perform a basic inspection.
Keep Your Roof Clear
Once winter strikes, the most important thing you can do is keep your roof as clear of snow as possible. Roofs are built to be able to withstand a large amount of pressure, but excessive snow build-up can lead to damage or even collapse. If your roof has a low pitch or if it is flat, it is even more important that snow be removed in a timely manner. When clearing snow, always use a long snow rake or, if one is unavailable or you are not comfortable performing this task, hire a professional snow removal service.
For more information, contact a residential roofing contractor near you.