Winter is right around the corner, which means that this is the time of year to make sure that your roof is ready for the snow and ice ahead. A quality roof is designed for decades or more, but problems can emerge, especially if there’s been extreme weather or animals making a mess of your roof. Here are a few things to check before the cold weather sets in.
Gutters and Downspouts
The first place to check is actually located along the edge of your roofing. As the fall season blows leaves off of the trees, they get carried somewhere – and often into a gutter. Leaves, dirt, twigs and other grime can clog up these drains, leading to blockages that can add extra weight to your roof structures in the form of stagnant water. This water can become a huge problem once the temperatures fall below freezing as it can allow ice dams to form, creating large, heavy ice formations that can be incredibly hazardous to those walking below, not to mention potentially damaging gutters and even the roof surface itself. Make sure that these drainage channels are clean and clear before winter strikes.
You should also take the good weather of autumn as an opportunity to check both above and below your roof for any hidden problems that may have emerged. Outside, check all seams and connections where sections of roofing change or vents, chimney stacks or other exhaust piping comes out. The caulking around these points can degrade over time, and a failed seal can allow water to enter your building, leading to a number of problems.
Check around the rafters inside of your building for any signs of moisture or dampness, as well. This could be obvious wet spots following a rain storm or beams that have more distortion in color or have fading or peeling paint. If insulation is visible, you may also see sagging or fallen sections that could be symptomatic of a leak. If you have any of these signs, make sure to consult a roofing professional to make necessary repairs before the flakes fly.
Loose or Weak Spots
Lastly, check the roof for any sections that are showing signs of being loosely attached or shifting from the original location. Sometimes the fasteners that attached your roof could have come loose or broken, or perhaps even have been slightly off during installation. As roofing expands and contracts throughout the year – from the colds of winter through the scorching heat of summer – these problems could worsen, potentially creating a section that could blow away or slide out of position during the winter.
In addition, look for any sagging or bowing locations on the roof. If you have sections that are already showing symptoms of structural problems, this could become a serious concern in the winter. Heavy, wet snow could accumulate on the roof, and this additional weight could make these problems worse, or even lead to a partial roof collapse. Don’t let this last through the winter months – make sure to get these issues repaired as soon as possible!
At R.G. Smith Company, we offer a full range of roofing replacement and repair services. Whatever your needs, we can handle your problems quickly, efficiently and effectively to ensure that your roof is ready for whatever the elements bring. For more information or to schedule an estimate, contact us today.