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Inspection and Maintenance Tips for Winterizing Your Roof

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Inspection and Maintenance Tips for Winterizing Your Roof

Posted by Best Roof Hatches on 2020 Dec 15th

As the season changes and winter settles in, home and commercial building protection become even more crucial. When the winter cold starts to seep in, be prepared. Taking preventive measures to protect your home or commercial building through the chilly months should always be a priority. Any good home winterization plan must include your roofing system.

Your roof is so important in keeping the harsh elements out, which is why practical weatherproofing jobs include roofing maintenance. Hence, to ensure that your roof is fully-prepped for the cold, there are a couple of tasks that you can complete even without professional help. And because we care about your roof, this practical "winterizing your roof" checklist covers inspection and maintenance tips. By following this checklist, you can relax knowing that you, your employees, and your property will be safe.

Clean Your Roof and Gutters

Before every winter season, you should pay extra attention to your roof and gutters. Cleaning your roof and gutters will help you eliminate algae growth that can take root beneath the shingles. You don't want algae hiding in your roof's dark spots, especially during winter-- they are prone to expanding and exposing your roofing materials to the elements.

When it comes to roof gutters, maintenance is also critical because they play a vital role in the roofing system's integrity. Clogged, rusty, and damaged gutters can already cause many problems during rainy days, so imagine what trouble they could give you during the winter season. Water will penetrate the timber and can also damage your yard and the building's foundation. Be sure that you repair any damaged sections of the gutters and clean such areas, including the downspout, before the first snowfall.

Prevent Ice Dams from Forming

When talking about winter roofing tips, this one should always be present. Clearing ice dams should be your priority because it is the most common cause of roof failures during the winter season. When warm air escapes the home or building through the roof, an ice dam forms when the snow melts. However, once the water reaches the hard edge of the roof, it freezes again. When neglected, this ice can build up and form over time-- and it is now what we call an ice dam.

Why are ice dams a problem? Once an ice dam forms, it can cause the shingles to lift, thus exposing the wood underneath. As more of the piled-up snow melts, the water is pushed back by the ice dam and will leak through the exposed wood. Over time, the water will eventually make its way inside the building, causing extensive damage to interior walls and ceilings. To prevent ice dams from forming, these are the steps that you can take:

  • Provide additional insulation for your attic
  • Keep your rain-gutters debris-free
  • Put some electric heat tape on slopes that face north

Ensure that Your Attic Insulation is Sufficient

If buildings had blankets, it would be the insulation. It keeps the building warmer during the winter and cooler during summer days. If you take a look in your attic, you have to check if your insulation is enough and if it is in good shape. If the insulation is already damp or moldy, you need to remove it and replace it with new insulation. You also have to ensure that insulation covers the eaves and not the vents-- this is to avoid blocking ventilation. In case you're using loose-fill insulation in your attic, make sure to distribute it evenly.

Take note that adding more insulation when necessary is a straightforward way of saving energy, improving comfort, and protecting your roofing system.

Install Heat Tape

Another excellent investment in protecting your building is installing heat tape, especially if you have a structure that faces north. A north-sloping roof has a higher risk of ice dam formations. The edge of your roof is prone to ice buildup, causing the shingles to lift and water leaks inside the property. The installation of heat tape will help prevent ice dams from building up, and it can help you avoid the costs of repairing extensive damages.

Cut Back Those Tree Limbs

Always keep in mind that during high winds or under the weight of snow and ice, even the healthiest tree limbs can come crashing down on your roof. It is advisable to cut back any tree limbs that can threaten your roofing system. By doing this, you can save yourself the unexpected cost of an emergency roof repair and prevent water damage to your building.

Inspect Your Roof for Necessary Repairs

When your roof is damaged and needs repair, it won't be able to keep the harsh elements out of your building. The same holds when your roof has missing or lifted shingles that can lead to water leakage, causing more damage to your ceiling. Conducting a roof inspection is essential, especially in checking if your roof flashing has cracks or sun rot. If you're not comfortable doing the inspection yourself, be sure to search for local roofing companies with the experience and license to inspect your roof for you. If they discover any problems, they will also provide you with a roof repair estimate.

Make Important Repairs to Your Roof

This tip is an essential step that you should undertake in "winterizing" your roof. You have to make sure that all the necessary and vital repairs are complete before winter. If your roof ends up needing a new installation rather than a repair, you must do it before the winter season. It is essential to give enough time for any repairs or installations to seal correctly.

Have a Professional Roof Inspection

Going up on your roof and attempting some of these tips might be tempting. However, we would like to give you a word of caution-- Don't do it! Walking on your roof is dangerous, and one misstep could be disastrous for you or anyone who is not a professional. Take note that experienced roofers have the equipment and tools needed to inspect and repair a roof, which you do not have. It would be best to keep walking on the roof at a bare minimum and instead call a professional to prevent accidents and further damage to your roof. Moreover, if you haven't had a professional roof inspection in recent years, it's high time for you to schedule one. It will help your roofing system last longer and improve your home or building efficiency.


Once the beautiful autumn season comes, remember that winter is right around the corner. Don't push off inspection of your roof, thinking there's plenty of time yet. Doing a little bit of winter preparation each weekend will help save you from panic and potential problems as you head into the cold season.

Furthermore, you can never go wrong with roof hatches. If you have a roof hatch installed in your building, you won't have to worry about providing easy access to your roof when it's time to "winterize." Call now to place your order!