4 Roof Questions To Ask Yourself Before Winter Hits
The transition from autumn to winter warms the hearts of many who look forward to cozy nights around the fire or the cheer of winter holidays. But your seasonal tranquility could hit a major snag if you discover too late that your roof wasn't as ready to greet Old Man Winter as you were. Before you settle down to welcome the change of seasons, make sure you've asked yourself the following four critical questions about the state of your roof.
- "Do I have any unaddressed storm or age-related damage?" Several areas of the U.S. have been assaulted by horrific damage from major hurricanes and other storms this year. But you don't have to be a hurricane survivor to be rightly worried about the state of your roof. If your home has weathered its share of storms this year, get it inspected and deal with any roofing repair issues that may need addressing before winter comes. An older roof may also need some refurbishing at this time of year to avoid aggravating existing issues. For instance, temperature shifts can cause aging shingles to curl up, allowing ice and snow to make their way into the underlayment. Ask your roofer whether you need to make some overdue fixes.
- "Is my roof at risk for ice dams?" Ice dams -- those collections of icicles hanging off the side of your roof -- may look picturesque, but their effects on your roof are anything but pretty. The weight of an ice dam can bend your gutters or even rip them away from the roof, while the icicles themselves pose potential hazards if they break off and hurt someone. Poor insulation and leaking air can cause water to freeze, melt, and re-freeze on your roof, contributing to ice dam formation. Have your roofing contractor look at your roof insulation and integrity to make sure you're safe against this threat to your home's health.
- "Will my holiday decorations hurt my roof?" Autumn marks the advent of a string of cool-weather holidays, beginning with the crazy decorations put up for Halloween parties and climaxing with Santa and his reindeer cruising across your rooftop in all their fully-lit glory. But if your holiday lighting features frayed wiring, damaged light sockets or other fire hazards, your roof may not make it to New Year's Day. Double-check all your electrical hardware before hanging any holiday lights. Don't even think about nailing those lights in place, a practice which can cause problems with pests, leaks, and structural damage. Find some non-invasive way to clip the lights to your gutters instead.
- "Are my gutters in good order?" Those humble, utilitarian gutters deserve as much attention as the rest of your roof assembly once the autumn leaves start to fall -- especially since many of those leaves are likely falling right into the gutters. Accumulated vegetation in gutters attracts vermin and other pests, which may the migrate to your roof to cause damage. They can also fail to drain, allowing water to slosh up onto the roof and freeze into heavy, potentially-damaging ice. Clean your gutters thoroughly, and place covers over them to help keep out unwanted guests. To prevent ice from collecting in your gutters and weighing them down, you might even consider investing in some heated gutter guards.
Waiting until winter has struck can bring regrets for homeowners scrambling to get their roofs in shape. For one thing, once the damage is done, your roofing repair needs will be that much problematic than if you'd scheduled some preventative care beforehand. Additionally, cold temperatures and ice/snow can impose limits on what types of roofing repairs can actually be performed -- shingles, for instance, usually require temperatures of at least 26 degrees Fahrenheit for installation. Get your roof settled now so you can settle down with a cup of cocoa and enjoy your winter,and your home in peace. Visit a site like http://www.allamericanroofing.com for more info on roofing repairs.
27 October 2017