With winter weather well on its way throughout most of the United States, it’s never been a better time to ensure your roof is ready for the changing of the seasons. Making sure your roof is winterized is a great way to keep the cold weather out of your home so you can save on heating costs and prevent roof damage from leaks, other forms of water damage, and the ever-dreaded ice dams. In this guide, we’ll cover why winterizing your roof is critical to keeping your home warm and dry and discuss some of the most effective steps you can take to keep your roof ready for the worst that winter has to offer.
What is Winterization?
Winterization is the process of getting your roof ready for the onset of cold weather, snow, and winter storms. The winter season puts a lot of stress on your roof and presents unique challenges compared to the summer months, so it’s vital that your roof is in good condition from top to bottom. Winterizing your roof typically involves a thorough roofing inspection to check for any pre-existing damage, signs of a leaky roof, and proper insulation throughout the attic space. Then, professionals will perform any necessary repairs on vulnerable or damaged sections of your roofing system before winter moves in.
How Can Winterization Help Your Roof?
By taking the time to ensure that your roof is prepared for the harsh weather, high winds, snow, and ice that come with winter, you not only provide you and your family with peace of mind, but you can also lower your heating costs and protect your home from water damage.
Help to Better Insulate Your Home
An essential part of winterizing your roof is double-checking the quality and integrity of your attic insulation. Worn, patchy, or missing insulation can let cold air into your home from the outside and cause several problems, including water leaks from melting snow, frozen plumbing, and increased heating costs.
Save on Heating Costs
A properly insulated and winterized roof can help you save countless dollars on your heating bill during the cold months by preventing the warm, heated air inside your home from escaping outdoors and vice versa. The EPA has estimated that most homeowners could save as much as 15% of their total heating costs each winter by ensuring that their attics and crawl spaces are properly insulated and sealed.
Protect Your Home’s Interior from Water Damage
Melting snow and freezing rain can pose significant problems to your home if its roof hasn’t been properly sealed. Roof leaks caused by cracks or gaps in your roofing systems’ structure can melt the layer of snow closest to your shingles and let the water drain into your home, causing extremely costly water damage and potential structural issues. Ice dams, a vicious cycle of melted and refrozen ice caused by heat leaks from an unwinterized roof, can also lead to severe problems over the course of the winter.
When Should You Plan to Winterize Your Roof?
Ideally, your roof should be ready and in good condition by the time winter has arrived. This gives you time to inspect your roof and complete any necessary repairs well before minor issues can lead to more severe problems. Late summer or fall is typically when most homeowners plan to winterize their roofs. This provides the time it takes to get the work done without leaving too long of a gap between the process and the first snowfall.
Best Tips for Winterizing Your Roof
While it’s always a great idea to get a professional inspection by a proven roofing contractor to verify that your roof is in good condition before the winter, there are several things you can do to make sure your roofing system is ready for the cold months ahead. From simple tasks like cleaning your gutters to more complex jobs like upgrading your insulation, let’s go over some of our top tips for winterizing your roof.
Check and Clean Your Gutters
Throughout the summer, all kinds of debris can get into your gutters and clog them up, preventing them from carrying water off your roof and away from your home. It’s a good idea to check and clean your gutters throughout the year regularly, but it’s especially important to do so before snow and ice clog them up for the winter. If your gutters end up being blocked, melting snow won’t be able to drain properly, which can lead to costly water damage for your home.
Inspect Your Attic and Chimney for Issues
This is where a professional roofer can come in handy. You’ll want to ensure that your attic is properly ventilated to keep mold, mildew, and other issues from cropping up during the winter. Since you’ll be using your chimney more often in the coming months, verify that it is in good working order, clear of debris, soot, and pests. Closely examine both your chimney and your attic for signs of roof leaks, weak spots, or other issues, and make plans to perform the necessary repairs as soon as possible.
Add or Upgrade Insulation
Your attic’s insulation plays a crucial role in keeping your home warm, dry, and safe by preventing cold air from entering your home and warm air from escaping. This keeps your heating bill down throughout the winter and prevents ice dams from building up on your roof.
Ice dams are caused when the warm air from your home melts the layer of snow that’s against your roof, melting it into water that runs down your roof until it reaches an area that’s cold enough to freeze it again. As this process repeats, the ice builds up, adding weight to your roof and backing up runoff until it leaks into your home. Carefully inspect your insulation for gaps, torn or missing sections, and consider upgrading it to help you save on heating costs year after year.
Plan for Excess Snow Removal
As winter drags on, more and more snow can start to pile up on your roof. While your roof is designed to stand up to some additional weight, regularly clearing off excess snow can help lengthen the lifespan of your roof and, in winters with above-average snowfall, could prevent it from collapsing altogether. Before winter rolls in, consider how you’ll remove the excess snow and plan accordingly. Telescopic snow rakes, avalanche systems, and even heated cabling are all popular options for many homeowners.
Contact PRQ Exteriors for More Information
The winter months are right around the corner, and it’s time to make sure your roof is ready. For more information and assistance with winterizing your roof, contact PRQ Exteriors for a free evaluation. As a professional roofing company with nearly a decade of experience helping our community prepare their homes and businesses for harsh winters, we’re here to ensure your roof is in top shape before the first snowfall. For your roof replacement, repair, installation, and winterization needs, call the pros at PRQ today.
To discover how our top-rated, industry-leading roofing solutions can make a difference for your home or business, contact us today for a free roof inspection, evaluation, and consultation. We’ll work with you to identify any potential issues with your roof and develop a plan to get it back in top shape in no time!