Winter is coming, as more than a few Game of Thrones memes might have reminded you – but even Ned Stark could too easily underestimate the threat that those plunging temperatures pose to his roof’s condition. So serious is this threat that you should keep re-checking your roof in the winter.
However, with Consumer Reports citing water damage linked to frozen and burst pipes as chiefly responsible for home insurance claims, you should also prepare in advance by following these tips.
Check the roof
Schedule some time for you to check your roof before winter’s arrival. If you lack the expertise to closely inspect your roof while keeping your personal safety sufficiently in mind, you could still, at least initially, check that roof from the ground – you might spot a few loose or missing shingles.
Those openings could allow melting snow to leak water into your home, Family Handyman warns. A local roofing firm might be able to more thoroughly assess your roof for you, perhaps even for free.
Don’t overlook other aspects of the roof
An especially strong incentive to book a professional roof inspection is that, otherwise, lesser-known warning signs could too easily slip through the cracks, if you will excuse the inadvertent pun.
Chances are that the professional carrying out the check will watch out for any broken seals around your roof’s vents and the chimney, while the chimney stack itself warrants inspection in its own right. Cracks might have formed in the stack, necessitating its rebuilding or repointing.
Prevent ice dams from forming
According to the South Carolina-based Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), even just one cubic foot of snow or ice can be as heavy as 20 to 25 pounds. That kind of stability can undermine how securely your shingles fit to the roof.
Prevention is better than cure – so, to keep ice dams at bay, remember to rake any accumulated snow off your roof, install heat cables and make sure your attic space is properly insulated.
Check and clear your gutters
If debris like sticks, leaves and pine cones have built up in your gutters, this situation can lead water to back up in those pipes before freezing as the temperatures cool. This is a strong incentive for you to regularly clean those gutters, which should also be properly connected to the downspouts.
What you don’t want is improperly-directed downspouts sending the melted snow towards your home’s foundation – as, otherwise, your basement could soon become beset by leaks and flooding.
Trim dead tree limbs
A dead tree limb overhanging your roof could too easily snap under the weight of snow that builds up on top of it. That falling limb could subsequently strike and damage the roof, especially during a winter storm – so, either remove such limbs or arrange for a professional to do so on your behalf.
If winter has already damaged your roof, you can still take comfort from the availability of roof repairs in Newcastle, Durham and further afield.