Winters in Northeast Ohio can be hard on roofs, but by following these fall roof maintenance tips before the temperatures dip and the snow starts flying, you can rest easy this winter, knowing you’re protected overhead.
Clear Away Debris
April showers, May flowers, and summer storms all bring lots of flying and falling debris to Northeast Ohio. One important aspect of readying your roof for winter is clearing away the debris that has accumulated during the past six months. Fallen twigs, leaves, branches, and any stray toy that may have been launched onto your roof over the summer can dent, scratch, or otherwise damage your shingles, leaving them weakened and unable to efficiently shed water from your roof. In addition to that, accumulated debris can trap water as the snow melts in the winter, creating the potential to form a nasty ice dam that can seriously damage your roof and create leaks. Because leaks from ice dams typically run down inside the walls, rather than dripping through the ceiling, they often go unnoticed for much longer and can cause much more significant water damage to your home.
Trim Overhanging Branches
Overhanging branches post three significant risks for your roof, particularly in the winter when trees tend to shed their deadwood to prepare for the springtime season of growth. First, on windy days, overhanging branches can scratch against your roof and scratch or tear the shingles. Even if the shingles themselves remain intact, the asphalt can be stripped away, allowing leaks to develop.
Second, the leaves (or pinecones and needles) of any overhanging branch fall onto your roof to collect in your gutters. We always recommend cleaning your gutters in the spring and fall (read on to learn why), but overhanging branches significantly add to the debris in your gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to a whole list of issues for your home. Trimming back overhanging branches helps keep your gutters clear longer.
Finally, stormy weather can cause branches in any tree to suddenly fall off. If you’ve ever looked outside after a storm has blown through to find a branch lying in your yard, you know this all too well. Branches fall, often without warning, during storms, and depending on the size of the branch, it could cause significant damage to your shingles, roof, and roof decking. Leaving these hanging around in the winter could lead to disaster.
Gutters are designed to receive the water your roof sheds and provide a path down and away from your home’s foundation. Gutters clogged with a summer’s worth of fallen twigs and an autumn’s worth of leaves instead allow water to pool along the edge of your roof and pour over and collect around your home’s foundation. During the summer months, this can lead to water intrusion in your basement (at best) and collapsing foundation walls (at worst). During the winter months, clogged gutters allow water from melting snow to collect along the eaves and freeze, forming ice dams that have the potential to wreck your roof, attic, ceilings, and interior walls. An afternoon spent clearing your gutters can save you a major headache this winter.
Perform a Roof Inspection
Having a roofing inspection completed by a trusted roofing professional can alert you to potential problems that may have developed in the last year and allow you the time to complete repairs before the harsh winter months. A thorough roof inspection should check for damage from summer storms, damaged or missing shingles, or issues with flashing—all of which can allow water intrusion during the winter months when snow collects on your roof. A thorough roof inspection will help ensure your roof is ready for winter.
Trust Aapex Construction & Restoration to Keep You Covered
Is your roof ready for winter? Aapex Construction & Restoration is a locally owned and operated company that specializes in insurance and non-insurance restoration projects, both commercial and residential. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, we pride ourselves on exceeding our clients’ expectations when it comes to quality, attention to detail, and customer service. Our goal is to assist you in every possible way, including acting as your advocate with an insurance company, when needed. Contact us today for a consultation.