Winter is here, which means that your roof will be standing up against the moisture and weight of rain, snow, sleet, and ice. Thankfully, a little bit of preparation can go a long way to make sure that your roof is ready for the harsh weather that comes hand in hand with winter. Here are some of our best winter maintenance tips for your residential or commercial roof.
Avoid Ice Dams
Ice dams form on gutters and the margins of roofs as snow and freezing rain melt and accumulate in one spot. While this might not seem dangerous, it can cause serious damage to your roof and your home. When water sits and pools, it can penetrate your shingles and lead to moisture entering your home in the form of leaks or water damage. To avoid this from happening, you can make sure that you clear your gutters at the end of fall and check them before all major snowstorms. Make sure that your roof has proper ventilation and that it is in good repair. Like most winter maintenance tips, this can be taken care of in the fall before ice is ever on the ground.
Clean Out Your Gutters
Even if you aren’t concerned about ice dams, it’s still a good idea to keep your gutters clean as part of your winter maintenance. At the end of the fall, clean out any leaves and yard debris. If you leave things behind, they can make it hard for melted ice and snow to quickly and easily flow off your roof, into the gutters, and away from your home. If water pools around your foundation instead, it can lead to cracking and other serious damage.
Check the Flashing
The flashing on your roof is designed to protect the gap between your roofing and other parts of the roof, like the chimney and vent pipes. Flashing that is in good condition will prevent water and moisture from seeping through the roof or gaps in the roofing and entering your home. As part of your winter maintenance, you should take care to examine the flashing and replace or repair it if needed.
Remove Snow Safely
During very heavy blizzards, there might be a dense accumulation of snow on your roof. While it can be tempting to remove it on your own, you should call a professional if you do not have a rake and ladder available, or if the snow is very dense. If you plan on removing snow yourself, do so before there is too much sitting on the roof and use a rake. Never step directly on the roof and make sure that you have someone outside to hold the ladder and help.
Trim Your Trees
One of the biggest winter maintenance hazards for your roof is not the roof itself, but the trees that might be around it. If you have any branches hanging over your roof, you should have them trimmed to avoid them falling on your roof due to the weight of ice and snow. Even if the limbs are not hanging over top of your roof, if they are nearby, you should still have them trimmed back and ensure that they are not dead, dying, or damaged.
Check Outside After a Storm
Finally, after you have a windy day or snowstorm, you should take a walk around your yard to look for shingles or pieces of roofing that might have been blown off of your roof. If you find storm damage, you should contact Benchmark Roofers to take a look at your roof and determine whether or not repairs or replacements are necessary. If you wait too long to have shingles and damaged roofing repaired, it could lead to leaks and more serious damage the next time that it snows.
Make Your Residential Roof Last with Benchmark Roofers
Benchmark Roofers is proud to serve homeowners throughout the state of Maryland in need of high-quality roofing and repairs. Beyond our roof replacement and repair offerings, we can help you cross home improvement projects off your to-do list, including door replacement, gutter replacement, siding replacement, window replacement, and roof repair. For a free roof inspection to determine if you need a roof replacement or a consultation to show you the benefits of a new roof, call us today at (443) 775-2702 or submit the brief contact form below.