Winter snow makes even the harshest landscape picturesque. It blankets hills and houses and transforms cities into quaint villages. Winter also brings ice, which means charming icicles on the sides of buildings and glistening frozen ponds. (Most importantly, ice signals the start of a long and happy outdoor hockey season.)
However, all this snow and ice comes with a not-so-hidden cost: roof damage. As the snow and ice pile up into windswept drifts, they also pile up on top of your roof, which can cause leaks, mould, and worse. Read on to learn how to protect your roof and stay warm this winter, all while enjoying the beautiful aspects of this winter’s snowfall.
Perform a Pre-Season Check
Your plan to protect your roof this winter should begin before the season even starts. Before the first snowstorm—sometime during the early fall—check your roof for problems and clear it of any debris. Check the following items off your list:
Clean your eavestroughs. To prevent snow and ice from piling up in the eavestroughs, you should make sure they’re completely clear of any debris. Take care of this task on a clear, sunny fall day. For optimum safety, don’t try to clear your eavestroughs from the roof itself. Instead, use a ladder to reach the eavestroughs. Don’t stand any higher than the third rung from the ladder’s top, and never reach further than the side rail.
If possible, attach a bucket to the ladder to deposit any debris. This prevents you from jostling the bucket and lunging to catch it as it falls, which can result in serious injury. You can attach a second bucket to your ladder to hold any tools you need, such as a trowel.
For best results, start cleaning close to a downspout. Remove the largest items first, like any large leaves or branches. Use a trowel to remove any difficult objects. Use a hose to rinse the mud and dirt out of the eavestrough.
To prevent more debris from falling onto your roof during heavy storms, trim back any tree branches that grew over or near the roof during the spring and summer. Keep an eye on your eavestroughs as you move into winter, and continue to remove any leaves that fall into them before the first snowstorm.
Check for Damage
Perform a visual inspection of your roof. Is it missing any shingles? Does the flashing look damaged in any way? Did your roof sustain any damage from wind or rainstorms that you may not have noticed until now? Can you see mould or warping on any exterior wood?
If you notice any problems, deal with them now. Remember, the best protection is early prevention. Fix any simple problems you feel equipped to handle, or call an experienced Edmonton roofer for the best results.
Insulate Your Attic
Heat rises, which means all the energy you use to heat your home this winter eventually rises up to the attic. If your attic isn’t insulated, that heat escapes through the roof and melts any ice and snow resting on top of the roof.
Melting snow seems like a good thing, right? Wrong. The melting snow re-freezes as the temperature drops at night or during a storm. This ice continues to pile up on your roof, causing ice dams and, in extreme cases, causing your roof to collapse.
To prevent problems related to ice build-up, insulate your attic. This won’t just save you money on heating this winter—it’s also one of the best ways to protect your roof during the winter. If you don’t feel confident enough to insulate your attic on your own, call your Edmonton roofing company at A. Clark. The cost will be worth it in the end: you’ll save money by preventing costly roof problems.
Stay on Top of Winter Problems
Following the above tips will certainly make winter easier on your roof. But if winter came early this year or you didn’t plan ahead, everything isn’t lost. Instead, take this following crucial step:
Deal with Ice Dams
As previously mentioned, a lack of attic insulation often causes ice dams, but any freezing temperatures can make ice dams more common. Ice dams form as heat rising from the attic heats built-up snow, which then trickles into the eavestroughs and re-freezes. These ice blockages dam water from melting snow behind them. This water then trickles through the shingles and back inside to cause mould and water damage. The ice can also seriously damage your eavestroughs, even ripping them from the roof.
If you’re worried ice dams could form, use a snow rake to brush snow off the roof. Never stand directly on the roof to remove snow: the ice makes the roof slippery and incredibly dangerous. Snow rakes let you reach the snow while standing firmly on the ground.
If ice dams already fill your eavestroughs, call your Edmonton roofer. He or she can also remove snow from the roof and give you advice specific to your roof, climate, and situation.
Your Edmonton roofer also knows how to remove ice and snow without damaging your roof. When in doubt, call us immediately at 780-465-7571.
Enjoy the Winter Snow
When you prepare and stay on top of winter problems, you can enjoy winter for the beautiful season it is. There’s no need to stress: both you and your roof will come through the season unscathed. Get cosy in the warm indoors and cheer your favourite hockey team towards the Stanley Cup without worrying about piled-up snow crashing through your roof.