Top 5 Winter Roof Maintenance Tips

It’s ideal to complete some roof winter maintenance before the snow flies, but even when you get a break in the cold weather or the snow is falling, you can address some of the common maintenance tips that we often share with our customers. Here are some of the tasks that you can hire a professional to perform or you can take care of on your own.

Brown Wooden House and outbuilding Covered With Snow Near Pine Trees

Tip #1 – Remove Snow

Depending on where you live, large amounts of snow may be a concern in regard to the integrity of your roof. If snow starts to really pile up on your roof, it may need to be removed in order to prevent damage to the structure of your home. For safety reasons, you shouldn’t be climbing up on your roof in the middle of a snowstorm. What you can do is invest in a snow roof rake. It’s an extendable tool that you can use to pull the snow safely down off your roof. This is an especially important process if you have a roof with a flatter pitch that allows snow to accumulate in large quantities.

Tip #2 – Check the Flashing

The flashing on your roof is the material that is used to seal together all of the different joints around your chimney, gutters, vents, etc. This flashing should be checked before the cold weather arrives, so you can be sure that snow and ice aren’t going to cause water to pool around areas that could be susceptible to water damage. Flashing can also add a layer of insulation to your home. When it’s properly installed and in-tact, you can expect less air to escape your home and less air from the outside to make its way indoors. A roofing professional can determine if your flashing needs to be replaced, and affordably take care of this repair for you.

Woman shoveling snow off a flat portion of her roof

Tip #3 – Check for Wind Damage

Wind can cause a lot of damage to your roof, resulting in moisture damage and other structural problems. After you have a big storm pass through that brought heavy winds along with it, head outside and take a quick peek up at your roof. You don’t have to get up on a ladder, but you will want to see if you can spot any missing shingles, shingles that are peeling up from the roof or some other form of roof damage. If there’s anything that looks alarming to you, you’ll want to call quickly to have repairs made.

An annual inspection of your roof can help prevent wind damage in many cases. A roofing contractor can give everything a once over to see if any shingles need to be nailed back down or replaced. The summer and fall months are the perfect time to schedule something.

Close up image of a shingle roof that has missing and torn shingles, cause by wind damage.

Tip # 4 – Inspect Gutters / Clear Debris

Before the temperatures drop, your gutters should be inspected and cleared of any debris that has built up inside of them. If you leave that mess, this could prevent the flow of water that gets inside during the freeze and thaw cycle of winter, which can cause ice dams. Ice dams are areas of ice build-up along the eaves of your roof. They can cause shingles and gutters to become weak and loose. It won’t take much wind to rip loose shingles or a loose gutter right off your house.

Tip # 5 – Trim Overhanging Trees

In the summer or fall, take a walk around your property and look for any trees that may be overhanging your roof. There are a number of reasons that you don’t want your landscaping touching your roof. For starters, it can put you at a higher risk of insects or rodents making their way into your home. Trees overhanging your roof can also allow for additional moisture to accumulate and lead to mold growth or damage. In the winter, the biggest concern is heavy snow and ice causing tree limbs to snap and fall onto your house, potentially causing major damage. If you can’t reach your trees to have them cut back, you should contact a landscaping company that can take care of this maintenance for you.

Trees with branches covered in ice, with a few dead leaves

With these few simple tasks, your roof and home will be ready and protected for the winter ahead. If you need assistance with your roof maintenance or are in need of repairs, reach out to us here at Hammersmith Roofing and Construction. We are an experienced roofing contractor in the Richmond, Virginia area, and we can work on roofs for family homes, apartment buildings, restaurants, retail stores, and townhomes.