Fierce winter weather poses many challenges for New England homeowners, not the least of which is the potential for roof damage. Key to protecting your roof is giving it regular TLC, with timely repairs, consistent maintenance, and annual inspections. Check out these helpful tips on winter roof maintenance.
Inspect For Leaks
You don’t necessarily need to get up on a ladder and risk life and limb to check for roof leaks. You can do a visual check just by visiting your attic. Be on the lookout for signs of leaks, such as dripping water, condensation, and water stains. Check the floors, ceilings, and walls. If you see evidence of leaks, you could have ice dams or other damage to your roof.
Check the Ventilation
Proper ventilation for your house is key, as you need the warm and humid air to escape the attic to prevent insulation damage in the attic and ice damage to the roof. Make sure all vents, such as gable and ridge vents, are free from debris such as leaves, dust, and branches. If you have soffit vents, make sure they are not obstructed. Never block those vents with insulation.
Take a Look at Your Exteriors
Loose shingles are often a warning sign that your roof has the potential to leak during the winter. Replace them as needed before things get worse. Clear out your gutters for proper drainage and prevent buildup on your roof. Inspect the flashing around roof vents, piping, and chimneys. If it’s loose, it doesn’t take much for high winds to tear it off, introducing the risk for leaks.
Check Attic Insulation
Having proper insulation may save you up to 20 percent on your energy bills. Plus, it prevents ice dams from forming. In New England, homes with inadequate attic insulation are at a higher risk for ice dams. You should have at least seven to 10 inches of insulation in general.
Remove Ice Dams
Ice dams, walls of ice that form at the edge of your roof, can force water to back up behind it, which then creates a pool of water. That water then gets underneath the shingles, leaking into your home. Ice dams are caused by poor ventilation and insulation in your attic, which releases hot and humid air up and onto your roof.
If you have ice dams, call a roofer. It’s not safe to chip away at them yourself.
Remove Snow from Solar Panels
If you have solar panels on your roof, they can accumulate snow which can hamper their energy efficient efforts. The snow is best removed with a squeegee device attached to the end of a roof rake, but just like ice dams, this job is best left up to the professionals so you don’t cause damage to the panels or get injured.
Contact Hi-Tech Windows & Siding for Roofing Services
To get a free quote and consultation on New England roof protection, including inspections, maintenance, and repairs, call us today at 800-851-0900. Get in touch with us before the brunt of winter hits!