Winter Roofing Tips: Don't Make These Common Mistakes With Your Roof

When the winter comes around, it is important that you inspect and maintain different areas of your home. Your roof is one area that tends to be most at risk in the winter due to the snow, ice, and heavy winds. Here are some common mistakes that you should try to avoid in order to keep your roof in good working condition during the winter.

Not Protecting Against Ice Dams

One of the biggest risks in the winter is getting ice dams on your roof. Ice dams form when snow melts, then drips to the edge of the roof, where it can refreeze if it is cold enough out. This is more common when it is still cold enough to freeze water, but your roof is hot from turning on the HVAC unit. Without proper insulation, running the heater can cause the roof to get too hot, which then melts the snow prematurely. As it reaches the edge of your roof or the gutters, it refreezes and can cause major damage. You need good insulation and ventilation of your roof, and to clean out the gutters in order to reduce ice dams.

Failing to Inspect the Roofing Materials

Every time the season changes, it is a good idea to inspect your roof and make sure the roofing materials are in good condition. At the very least, check the roof before winter arrives just in case you have holes or cracks. In the winter, water leaks are a serious concern due to an increase in rain, snow, and hail, so make sure you look for potential damage that might lead to leaks. If you have a metal roof and it has areas that seem to be rusted or otherwise worn, you might want to replace those panels so you don't end up with holes.

Letting Trees Hang Over the Roof

In the winter, the various storms that occur can cause your trees to sway wildly, which will damage your roof if they hang over it. Don't just leave them where they are and assume they won't cause damage. Just one big storm can cause those branches to touch the roof and scratch the surface, resulting in some costly repairs.

Ignoring Problems With the Flashing

Flashing consists of metal components on your roof that are there to prevent leaks. If the flashing is starting to look worn or there are cracks between the flashing and the joints of your roofing panels, you need to call a roofing contractor to have them replaced. Ignoring them can also increase your risk of leaks.