Holiday Survival Series
As the winter months approach, our homes” first measure of protection against rain and snow is the roof. Follow these tips to get your roof ready for the cold winter.
- Start off by checking the roof framing structure to make sure it is not compromised. Visually scan the roof for any sagging or uneven areas. If you do see an area that looks uneven, this may mean damage to the roof deck below the shingles.
- Inspect the gutter systems to make sure they are not clogged with branches, leaves, or other debris. This is important to ensure that rain water and snow have a way off of the roof. If the water or snow is left standing on the roof, there is an increased likelihood of leaking or ice damming.
- Make sure that gutters are fastened properly and are tight and secure so that they don”t cause overflow and build-up or fall off the fascia board. Leaking water can end up causing damage not just to your roof, but to your interior walls, as well.
- One of the most common causes for roofing leaks is a problem with flashing, the aluminum or metal materials that are used over joints to prevent water from seeping in and causing damage. Metal flashing should also be used around roof vents, pipes, skylights, and chimneys. Remember that flashing can be loosened or torn by high winds and heavy rains, so inspect it annually.
- Check the valleys of the roof to ensure that they are also free and clear of debris that can add weight to the roof and also act as a barrier to rain and snow. Leaks frequently occur in the valleys so make sure they are well protected by a proper roofing system.
- Lastly, you should walk around to carefully inspect the shingles on the roof – look for curling edges, missing granules, and certainly for missing shingles or damage from birds, rodents, or squirrels.
Source: Jason Joplin, program manager of GAF”s Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence