At no time during the year is your roof more important than in the winter. The insulation, weather protection, and resistance against the constant onslaught of snow is admirable but your roof also isn’t invulnerable. Bad things can still happen to a roof in the winter time, especially when it’s the result of insufficient roof maintenance earlier in the year. We know the winter time is when everyone least wants to go outside and worry about their roofs but with a few small maintenance tasks, you can ensure that when the spring melt comes around you won’t be dealing with major leaks or structural problems.
Do Not Climb Onto the Roof
First and foremost, let us advise you not to try and go up onto the roof. Roofs are dangerous enough without a layer of ice and uneven patches of snow. Do all your inspecting from the ground or, possibly, from the top of a safely secured ladder. If anything needs doing that requires someone to get onto the roof, call trained professionals. They will know how to handle themselves, their equipment, and your roof problem without slipping and causing an unnecessary tragedy.
Break Up Ice Dams
Winter may be cold, but it’s not always the exact same amount of cold. There are warmer days mixed in with the the snow flurries which means a combination of melt-off and refreeze. This can cause dangerous ice-dams on the edges of your roof that hold the snow on and frozen clogs of your gutters and drain spouts. Check your gutters and the edges of your roof about once a week to break up ice dams and clear the drainage routes.
Watch for Snow Pileup
Snow piling up on your roof is dangerous for a number of reasons. First, the weight alone can start to pose a problem, especially as it partially melts, refreezes into a more dense state, and continues to build up. Watch out for snow pileups on your roof, particularly in valleys and behind ice dams. Without climbing on your roof, you might be able to clear these with a rake, push broom, or an extended window washing brush depending on the height of your home. Be very careful in the ice and try not to drop snow on anyone, including yourself.
Check on Attic Ventilation
When snow and ice sit on your roof for a long time, it can warp the shingles and cause cold air to seep into your attic. You can reverse this effect to get rid of the snow simply by improving the ventilation in your attic. When air flows freely within the attic, the air is more likely to stay warmer and encourage ice and snow to slide off of your roof instead. Both manually and passively clearing snow from your house decreases the amount of cold it absorbs and in effect lowers the amount of energy you spend on heating.
Take Out Big Icicles
Icicles are one of the most beautiful phenomena that accompanies winter and those who grew up around them know white a bit about the humble, glimmering formations. You probably know that you shouldn’t drink from then because the water is dirty and that they hurt if one falls on you. What you might not know is that big icicles can get surprisingly heavy and actually begin to damage your gutter and roof. Little icicles are fine but if they get any thicker than about an inch, it’s time to knock them off carefully with a broom handle and sweep the shards into the sleeping flower beds.
For more helpful winter roof maintenance tips or to find an expert who can repair your roof in icy conditions, contact us today!