4 Steps For Preparing Your Roof For Winter
Winter is almost here and it is important that you prepare your roof for the possibility of severe weather. By preparing your roof for winter, you will prevent the need for more extensive roof repair in the future. These are a few basic maintenance steps that should be followed to get your roof ready for winter.
**Before you start, consider that climbing on a roof can be dangerous. Roofing professionals are specifically trained to navigate roofs, and they have the equipment and expertise to see a potential problem before it escalates into a major issue. If you do decide to perform these maintenance steps, be sure to follow all the necessary safety rules for your protection. There are websites such as www.gaf.com/roofing/residential/diy/learn_roofing_safety, which lists ways to be safe while working on your roof.
1. CLEAN THE GUTTERS
Leaves and other debris will collect in your gutters and downspouts and can prevent rain water from being removed from your roof. This water will overflow and damage your roof, trim and siding. Cleaning out your gutters will also prevent the weight of this debris from causing the gutters pull away from the anchors which secure them to the house. Periodically checking your gutters and then doing a final cleaning once the trees are bare, will keep your gutters clear. Consider installing screens or gutter guards to prevent leaves from collecting in your gutters.
2. CLEAN YOUR ROOF
It is important to remove leaves, pine needles, dirt and any other debris from your roof's surface to prevent moisture and rot which will break down your roofing material. The best way to clean debris off of your roof is by hand using a broom or soft brush. Remember that applying too much pressure will remove roof granules which can reduce your roof's lifespan. Another method to remove debris is with a blower. Pay special attention to the valleys which can collect water.
Using a pressure washer to clean your roof is definitely not recommended. Pressure washing a roof can blow off granules or even take off shingles. These granules protect the asphalt in the shingle from the UV rays of the sun. Shingles have sealing strips on their backs and a pressure washer can sever the strip allowing water to get under the shingle. In fact, if you use a pressure washer to clean your roof, you may no longer qualify for your roof's warranty.
Algae, moss, or mold can be especially damaging to your roof's lifespan. Cleaning and treating these may require a professional to prevent damage to your shingles and prevent further growth. There are DIY cleaners on the market, however, to prevent damage to your shingles, always try the cleaner on a sample shingle.
3. CHECK YOUR CLEAN ROOF FOR DAMAGES
After your roof has been cleaned, a visual examination of the surface is needed. Check for missing, cracked, curled, or frayed shingles. This would be the time to repair or replace shingles. Also examine the flashing around the vents, chimneys, skylights or other protuberances because this is where water tends to collect.
4. CHECK YOUR ATTIC'S INSULATION AND VENTILATION
Your attic's insulation and ventilation are extremely important to the health and lifespan of your roof. Your energy bills are also impacted by having the right amount of insulation and ventilation in your attic. When sunlight hits your roof, it heats the air in your attic. Proper ventilation prevents the hot air from condensing, which causes moisture and mold from rotting your roof's supports. Additionally, the correct amount of insulation will prevent the hot air from seeping into your living space, causing higher energy costs.
In conclusion, preparing your roof for winter makes perfect sense. Not only will you have the peace of mind knowing that you have done everything possible to prevent damage to your roof, you will also know that there are no potential repairs waiting in the wings.
Harper Roofing offers a professional roof inspection and will give you an honest assessment free of charge. Check out our A+ rating with the Better Business bureau and our 5 star rating on Houzz.
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Hurricane Irma is now classified as a Category 5 Hurricane. Its 180 mph winds are well above the 157 mph threshold set for hurricanes classified as Category 5. It is heading west and could hit the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Depending upon where Irma tracks, the storm could hit Florida, Georgia and/or the Carolinas early next week.
According to the National Hurricane Center, "when a Category 5 hurricane hits land, a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed." with power lost in some areas possibly for weeks or even months.
As we watch the path of this catastrophic storm, there are things you can do to prepare your home and specifically the roof for the hurricane season.
If possible, have your roof inspected by a roofing contractor to check for leaks or weak spots. A well constructed roof is better able to withstand hurricane force winds. Inspect the roof from the inside of the attic looking for points of light coming through the roof. These can also let wind and water in. Watch for protruding nail tips in the rafters or trusses can indicate the roof decks may not be secured properly.
Replace missing or incorrectly hammered nails in the shingles or the points where the roof deck connects to the rafters. With a caulking gun apply roofing cement to the edges of shingles. Where the rafters or trusses connect to the roof deck, apply a bead of construction adhesive.
Also, if possible, have a roofing contractor install hurricane clips to connect the roof to the home's walls from the inside. Those roofs with access via an attic can have metal roof straps attached for about $400 to $600. Windows, doors, skylights, and areas where wires enter the house should be sealed to prevent water entering the home.
Trees, dead or hanging limbs should be trimmed back before a hurricane. Check your drains and downspouts to make sure they are clear during heavy rains. Check support posts to porches, carports, or other structures attached to he home to make sure they are firmly attached to the ground.
Finally, check your homeowner's insurance to make sure the coverage you have is adequate. Some insurance companies offer discounts on hurricane insurance to homeowners who have specifically tried to minimize damage from storms. These can include storm shutters to roof attachments. Also, make arrangements with your roofing contractor to inspect your roof after the storm.
Harper Roofing will inspect your roof for FREE. They will work directly with your insurance company to make this process as simple as possible. Check out our A+ rating with The Better Business Bureau and our 5 star rating on Houzz.
Harper Roofing specializes in re-roofing residential homes in Charleston, South Carolina. Follow our blog for info on maintaining your home and protecting your family.