Start Getting Your Home Ready For Winter

Posted on: 9 September 2016

Fall is almost here. Now is the time to start thinking about getting your home's roof ready for the winter. Freezing temperatures and snow storms can create big problems if your home's roof isn't ready for the colder weather. The following tips will help you prepare your home for the colder parts of the year.

Clean the Gutters

Your home's gutters help protect the roof by carrying away water runoff and melting snow. If your home's gutters are clogged, however, this can lead to roof leaks, ice dams, and other damaging problems.

Plan to clean your home's gutters sometime in the later part of the fall season when many of the leaves have already fallen from the trees. When cleaning your gutters, you'll need a ladder, a hand trowel, and a bucket. Stand on the ladder over the gutters and use the trowel to scoop out debris. When you've finished removing the debris from the gutters, use a hose to wash out the inside of the gutters. If the water clogs in the downspout, use a plumber's auger to clear the spout.

Perform an Inspection

Perform a visual inspection of your roof to check for signs of damage or leaks. Your inspection will consist of two parts:

  • Exterior inspection. Walk around the outside of your home and look at the roof for signs of missing shingles and depressions in the roof. Get up on the roof and inspect the caulking and flashing for signs of cracks and deterioration.
  • Interior inspection. Go into your attic and look for signs of leaks, like water damage, mold, mildew, and damp places in the wood. Don't panic at the first sign of water damage in your attic. Stains you find may be from an old leak that was repaired years ago. The best way to tell if your roof has an active leak is to check the moisture content of the wood in these water-stained areas. Feel the wood for moisture, or better yet, use a moisture meter to detect moisture in the wood. If there is water in the wood, this is a sign of an active leak.

Remove Debris

While you're up on the roof during the inspection, remove any debris. Leaves, sticks, moss, and other debris can all lead to problems in the future. Use a long-handled brush dipped in bleach to sweep away the moss. Other debris can be placed in a garbage bag and then thrown away.

Contact Roofing Contractors Early in the Autumn

If you find signs of a roof leak or other problem while inspecting your roof and attic, contact a roofing contractor in your area. Do this early in the autumn before winter storms have a chance to damage your roof.