Here at Planet Roofing and Solar, we love everything roof, rain or shine, or even snow. We know that in Denver, every season has its challenges. Spring has wind, hail, and rain. Summer has the beating sun and rain. Autumn has leaves and sticks falling, and winter brings snow, ice and cold. With winter coming around again, it’s important to start getting your roof ready for the cold season.
Winter is a particularly rough season for roofs as the expanding and contracting ice puts stress on shingles and can really make leaks worse. With big storms known in the Denver area, some older or poorly built locations can even suffer from collapsed roofs. For our home owning neighbors, we suggest that you follow the following tips in order to make sure your roof is winterized and ready.
Clean Your Gutters
This is one of the more dreaded tasks that homeowners undertake every autumn, but it’s actually more important than many think. Clearing gutters of leaves and stick has many benefits. Runoff can flow through the gutters instead of running onto walkways and lawns, ruining landscaping and creating icy falling hazards. In cases with warm attics, it prevents the snow from melting and refreezing on your eaves, forming an ice dam that can cause real structural damage. While cleaning the gutters, make sure that you use the proper safety precautions while on the ladder and roof. If the roof is icy or too steep, hire professionals to clean it for you.
Check Your Downspouts
While you are up there, make sure that your downspouts are clear. Don’t simply blow the leaf blower down there for a few seconds and call it good. Downspouts with sticks and leaves obstructing them will back up with ice and water, making it much more likely for the accumulated snow to melt and seep under your roof tiles and into your eaves. It may even reach your sidewalk and create slipping hazards that can lead to injuries. Moreover, cleaning the downspouts allows it to dry and avoid the development of molds or the accumulation of rust.
Inspect Your Roof
Since you are up on your roof clearing gutters and downspouts, you should check the state of your roof. To do so, you will need to check your roof tiles and the flashing. The roof tiles should all be uniform, free of heavy wear, and not buckling or curling. Look out for any missing tiles where a small leak can start. Next, check the flashing. The flashing is the weather proof seal that keeps water from seeping into the seams between your roof and chimney or vents. . Often times you can see it under the roofing tiles. Much like the tiles, check the flashing to see any severe wear, missing areas, buckling, or curling. If you do notice anything, contact a professional roofer and get the tiles or flash repaired. Some roofing companies also offer free inspections, like us at Planet Roofing and Solar, that can save you the headache and get you professional feedback.
Trim Overhanging Tree Branches
Sticks are the bane of a gutter’s existence. It’s almost impossible to avoid them without fully removing nearby trees. But you can reduce their numbers by trimming overhead branches. Not only does this reduce sticks in the gutters and downspouts, but can improve branch health if done correctly. It can also reduce the amount of surface area that snow has to cling on so your branch is less likely to be pulled down in a heavy snowstorm and damage your roof.
Insulate Your Attic
This one can surprise people, but an improperly insulated attic will not only lose you money long term, it will also transfer the heat of your house to the snow on top. As this continues, it can form ice dams around the edges of your roof, holding water there for weeks at a time and allowing water to seep under the tiles. This will eventually seep into the ceilings and exterior walls causing damage and potentially spreading mildews and mold growth costing a small fortune in repairs or home worth.
Ventilate your Attic
This is a part of the same issue with ice dams, but it’s important to ventilate your attic, keeping the underside of your roof cold. That way, the snow never melts in the warm areas directly under your home to refreeze on the cold outer areas. In addition, this prevents the vapor from your home from reaching the cold underside and causing more moisture issues.
Planet Roofing and Solar hopes that this blog post has helped you get ready for winter and avoid costly repairs down the road. Remember that although winter is often the roofing “slow season”, it’s not the roofing “no season”. Your local roofing company still works near year-round. If you live in the Denver area, then you’re in luck! Planet Roofing does high quality work and offers premium discounts! Contact us for a free inspection and to see if you qualify for the discounts!