Taking care of your roof during winter may not be at the top of your to-do list, but it should be. If you’ve lived in Minnesota long, you know how harsh the winter weather can be and how it can damage your home.
At Kiser Construction, we’re always here to help you prepare and protect your home. Today, we’re here to discuss five winter roof maintenance tips that will help you keep your roof in optimal condition throughout the winter season.
Heavy Snow Accumulation
When snow begins to accumulate on your roof, remove it promptly to avoid roof damage. Dense, heavy snow can accumulate rapidly, especially when Mother Nature doles out snow and rain at the same time. As precipitation builds on your roof, it puts a tremendous amount of weight on the structure, and if left for too long, damage may ensue.
Snow buildup gradually melts and refreezes over the course of the day, which can create a damaging ice dam on your roof. Or, if the weight of the snow becomes too much, your roof may begin to sag or cave in. To ensure your roof can handle the weight of snow accumulation, have a roofing contractor inspect the structure and locate areas in need of reinforcement.
Flashing Deterioration or Damage
Roof flashings are designed to direct water away from areas of your roof that contain seams. These small metal structures can be found where your roof intersects with vertical structures, such as a chimney, skylight, or dormer. When flashings are missing or damaged, water can pool around the vertical structures of your roof, where it will eventually begin leaking inside.
If you’re unaware the issue exists, you may end up with serious water damage to the interior of your home. When you remove snow buildup on your roof, always give your flashings a quick once-over to ensure they are fully intact and attached to the roof securely. If you find damaged or missing flashings, contact a roofing contractor to install replacements as soon as possible.
Overhanging Tree Branches
Overhanging branches around your roof can spell disaster for your home as snow begins to fall. As snow accumulates on these branches, its weight can cause them to detach. If the branches hand directly over your roof, your home could incur serious roof damage. Whether you need to hire a tree trimmer or you prefer to do it yourself, trim both live and dead tree branches to avoid winter roof damage.
Snow and ice are primary considerations when looking at wintertime roof maintenance, but the wind is another factor. It only takes one major storm to cause a large amount of wind damage and be just as destructive as any precipitation. Inspecting the roof for any spots that may have become compromised, such as missing roofing materials or finding hardware like nails or screws on the ground, indicates that there may be a bigger issue.
Your attic ventilation plays a pivotal role in helping to protect the structural integrity of your home and keep the space more comfortable in colder months. It helps support the roof structure and reduces moisture, preventing long-term damage. Because as you heat your home, it goes into the attic, and if it is not well ventilated, moisture can collect in this area affecting the roofing materials, framing, and any items in your attic space.
Proper ventilation includes properly installed gable vents at the highest points, under-eve, rafter and exhaust vents, and ventilation fans. All of these are essential because they can draw in cooler air and force out the warmer moist air, reducing the risks.
Keeping the roof free of debris is another crucial task to be completed, including leaves, needles, dirt, and grime that can accumulate through the year. All these items can encourage the moisture to become waterlogged, resulting in rot and potentially causing a leak or other types of damage.
Ice dams occur when warm air from your attic heats up your roof and causes the snow on top to slowly melt. As the runoff trickles down your roof, it reaches the colder edges of the structure, where it slowly refreezes, forming a large mound of ice. If your gutters are clogged with debris, they can also contribute to ice dam formation.
Ice dams can cause significant damage to your home by allowing water to accumulate on your roof. When that water has nowhere to go because an ice dam traps it, it can seep through the roof, potentially causing damage to your attic and even your walls. If you notice an ice dam beginning to form, contact an ice dam removal company that can safely remove the ice with steam treatment.
Damaged or Missing Shingles
If you notice damaged or missing shingles when the snow on your roof starts to melt, you should have them replaced as soon as possible. Shingles are your roof’s first line of defense against dangerous moisture accumulation and rot, so get on the phone with a roofing contractor as soon as possible. Winter may not be an ideal time for roof repairs, but taking care of the issue promptly can prevent damaging mold and mildew accumulation in your attic.
Get a Professional Inspection
The last important maintenance tip is to consider hiring a professional roofing company to handle the major work. Typically most basic maintenance tasks can be performed at home, but choosing to invest in an expert means the roof inspection will be done correctly, and you won't have to worry about missing any important damage.
Need a Roofing Contractor? Contact Kiser Construction
At Kiser Construction, we put you first. We’re dedicated to keeping Twin Cities homes safe and comfortable, so you can enjoy peace of mind knowing those you love most are well-protected.
Whether you’re ready to take preventative measures by hiring a roofing contractor, or you need water damage restoration after your roof has incurred damage, we’re here to serve you. Give us a call at 763-633-2010 to learn more about our services and how we can help you. Or, feel free to reach out to us on our contact page.
If you’re in need of emergency service following a fire or other incident, we encourage you to call our emergency line at 612-518-8852.