Why You Need to Make a Roof Inspection Part of Your Winterization Plan
As temperatures drop and the seasons transition, many people start preparing for winter by shutting off sprinklers, making sure they have winter tires on their vehicles, and cover drafty windows. As you’re winterizing, consider adding a roof inspection to the list.
Summer weather with excessive heat, high winds and punishing storms can put a lot of strain on your roof if left unchecked. A professional roofing company in Chicago has the tools and knowledge to save you from major repairs down the road. One call to M&T Exteriors and you can see if there are minor repairs that need taken care of before winter hits.
There are five preventive measures you can take to keep your home better protected through the colder weather:
- Clear gutters and downspouts of debris so they can efficiently move water from the roof and away from the foundation of the house. Debris, such as leaves and small branches, clog the gutters and downspouts that can cause water to back up into the roof system, increasing the chances of leaks and costly damage.. If your gutters are in need of repair, this is a good time to take a closer look and address it.
- Finding and replacing damaged shingles also helps to better prevent future water damage. One benefit of hiring a professional roofing company for roof shingle replacement is they can find replacement shingles that match the color and texture of the originals. A professional will install replacement shingles without disturbing the surrounding ones, causing other issues. And if your roof has other leaks or issues, these will be found during the inspection and can be fixed to avoid future damage.
- Vents are often sealed with neoprene or rubber, which can dry and crack over time.This also is a common place for critters to take the opportunity to get into your attic. Checking vent seals for cracks and repairing them helps guard your home from leaks and unwanted critters. An added benefit to taking care of vents is that it maintains your home’s heating and cooling efficiency. Now that you’ve checked the vents from the outside, it’s important to inspect your attic for proper ventilation. Having the right amount of ventilation in your attic enhances your roof’s lifespan. During hot months, the ventilation allows hot air to escape the house and creates more cooling efficiency for your home. When temperatures are cold, the primary purpose of attic or roof ventilation is to move the cool air into the attic and allow the warm air to exhaust out of the attic.
When an attic is poorly ventilated, humidity levels increase and condensation can build, allowing mold and mildew the opportunity to grow.
- Insulation prolongs the transfer heat from your living space into your attic. Reducing heat in the attic slows the snow melt off, helping to prevent ice dams from forming.
- Flashing adds extra protection to the areas where two opposing roof surfaces meet (chimneys, dormer walls, skylights, and roof valleys), which are generally more vulnerable to leaks and water damage. Inspecting the maintaining the seal around flashing can keep water from seeping into the roof system. You’ll also know if the flashing has become bent, rusted, or has other signs that it needs to be repaired.
Other clues that your roof may need some attention are cracking or missing mortar, hearing the wind in your home, shingle granules on the ground, curling shingles, and/or a having a flat roof.
Another problem you surely want to avoid and take steps to prevent, ice dams. Ice dams at the roof edges can cause enormous amounts of damage along your gutter edges, causing damage to the insulation in the attic, drywall, cabinets, carpet and your other personal belongings.
One main problem your home encounters is snow accumulation and freezing temperatures which can lead to ice damming if your home’s attic is not properly ventilated and insulated.
The combination of heat loss that pushes up into the attic from a lack of insulation, builds-up inside your attic, along with the sun’s UV heat, melts the snow rapidly on the roof. As the snow melts, it runs down the roof to the “unheated” gutter edge and refreezes. As this cycle continues it causes a gradual mound of ice (ice-dam) to build up higher above the gutter edge and wider up the roof, pushing up under the shingles to the point where the water can no longer flow out to the edge and freeze. That water gets trapped, potentially causing leaks into the home, which can damage walls, ceilings, insulation, and other structural areas.
A fair indicator of ice dams, an excessive amount of icicles, which are pretty and seem harmless, may be a good sign of an ice dam.
Schedule Your Roof Inspection
In the roofing industry, it is common practice for an annual roof inspection. A roof is built to last 25 years. But that roof will take wear and tear from debris, sunlight, and severe weather, which will cause premature aging. A little maintenance along the way will help keep your roof intact for its intended lifetime and save you headaches and money down the road.
If you can have your roof inspected in the early part of fall, there is time to make repairs before the weather changes. It’s best to have roofing work done on a dry day with temperatures above 45 degrees. This also ensures your home will be in solid working order for those cold winter blasts. However, a professional roofing company, like M&T Exteriors, has the proper equipment to safely do repairs in winter months as well.
You may want to consider a spring inspection to take care of any damage caused by winter weather and cold temperatures as well. A little maintenance along the way can go a long way.
If you don’t already have a relationship with a roofing company in the Chicagoland area, contact M&T Exteriors and fill out a contact form or call (331) 240-2911 to schedule an appointment today. We provide all of these services and can help you extend the life of your roof.