How to Prepare Your Roof for Winter


You never know what an Indiana winter will have in store, but we’ve put together a list of our top 5 tips so that your roof is prepared for whatever is ahead.

Ready? Here we go.

1.     Clean Out Gutters:

We recommend 2 cleaning cycles in the fall (once mid-October and again early in December when all the leaves are off the trees). This will help prevent overflow and water damage to your home. As debris collects in your gutter system, it will eventually clog the downspouts and any precipitation will be forced to overflow. All this puts stress on not only the gutters, but also the home’s roof, trim, and siding. And if you needed just one more reason to clean those gutters, leaves left lingering will also get heavier as winter precipitation collects in them, weighing down gutters and potentially causing them to sag or collapse from the house.

2.     Remove Debris:

Take a quick scan of the roof’s surface. Any lingering debris – even small pieces – can hold moisture from winter precipitation. Wet debris tends to mold, which can rot and break down roof material as well. If you feel confident in doing so, get up on the top of your roof to blow or sweep it off towards the end of fall. We also suggest hiring a roofing company that is already trained and skilled to be up there to come take a look for you.

3.     Properly Insulate and Ventilate the Attic:

If you’ve hired a professional to clean your gutters, also have them take a look to evaluate your home for the potential of ice damming. The key is to have proper ventilation to allow cold air in and insulation to seal in the heat. Ice damming occurs when this system is not properly in place and warm air leaks out, melting the ice on the roof.

Photo by Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt 

Photo by Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt 

Ask us about our Ice and Water Shields, Drip Edges, and Gutter Aprons that we can install for your home to protect it from ice damming. We put these features on every new roof we construct (in the eaves, valleys, and trouble spots on the roof), but can also add them on to existing roofs!

4.     Trim Excess Branches:

During the winter, long tree branches are especially susceptible to falling from the beating of heavy snow and ice. Take a quick scan of your home to see if there are any branches looming over areas that would be damaged if they fell. If so, go ahead and trim them now to prevent future damage (for your roof and other parts of your property). Why spend money on costly repairs when it would be more fun to spend it on holiday presents and cozy sweaters?

5.     Purchase a Roof Rake:

The key here is to be prepared to prevent heavy snow buildup. A long push broom or roof rake will do the trick. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, the maximum amount of snow a roof can handle is 4 feet of new snow and 2 feet of old (packed) snow. Be sure to brush off anything that is in excess (or even close) to this amount.

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