The nemesis of all roofs, winter, is here. Ice, rain and winds will all try to break through, and many will succeed. But before the first freeze of winter hits, there are a few things you should do to prepare your roof, which could prevent those leaks that ruin the cosy warmth of home that we all long for after being outside in the bitter weather.
First thing’s first, clean the gutters. The leaves are falling off the trees, and many of them end up in your gutter system with other debris, eventually clogging the downspouts. As water fills your gutters, it will eventually overflow onto you roof, trim and siding, causing major damage for such a simple, avoidable thing. Your gutters may become too heavy to stay secure to their anchor points and could fall down. There are gutter screens or guards that you can purchase to avoid having to deal with this problem in the first place, but with a little time and effort you can keep them relatively clear throughout the fall and then give them a thorough clean after all the trees are bare.
Then for the actual roof, which it is also important to clear of leaves and debris. These hold moisture and can rot and cause mould, breaking down your roofing material. Water must be able to flow off of your roof, it is when there is a blockage that damage will begin to occur, so if you’re confident to walk on your roof, do try to get up there and brush off the debris.
Now that you have a clean roof, it is easier to look for damages such as missing, cracked or warped shingles. Check for damaged flashing around the usual leaking suspects; vent stacks, skylights and chimneys. You may want to call in an expert to repair the flashing rather than attempting it yourself because it is a tricky job.
Winter energy bills will literally go through the roof if you don’t have sufficient loft insulation and ventilation. Though the weather may not feel warm, sunlight will still hit your roof and heat up the air in your loft. A lack of ventilation will mean the hot air condensates, and moisture will cause mould and rotting damage.
It is vitally important that you make your roof ready for the season, and it is always easier to fix a small problem early on rather than finding out too late and having a mighty big job on your hands. Get ahead and stay warm and safe this winter.