When the temperatures drop and the leaves start to turn, you know that winter is on it’s way. The winter months in Boulder can be harsh, with heavy snowfall, bitter winds, and dramatic temperature fluctuations.
This extreme cold weather puts extra stress on your home’s roof. However, with some preventative winter roof maintenance and vigilant monitoring, you can help your roof stand up to whatever winter throws its way. That is why Roof Masters of Colorado put together these roof maintenance tips to prepare you for when winter weather hits.
Inspect and Repair Your Roof Before Winter Sets In
The best defense is a good offense when it comes to winter roof preparation. Take the time in late fall before winter arrives to thoroughly inspect your roof for any issues that could be exacerbated by unexpected winter storms. Look for:
- Missing, cracked, or damaged shingles. Snowdrifts can exert a lot of pressure on damaged areas, potentially creating water damage below the damaged or missing shingles.
- Accumulated debris in valleys and gutters. This material can become saturated with water/ice and cause interior leaks, compromising the roof system.
- Exposed nail heads. They can corrode and compromise the shingle seal. Apply roofing cement over any visible fastener heads.
- Damaged flashing issues around chimneys, vents, and valleys. Repair flashing or caulk any cracks or gaps with the appropriate sealant.
- Moss buildup. Moss holds moisture against the shingles, leading to decay. Use a stiff broom to remove any moss carefully.
Don’t attempt any roof repairs yourself. Leave it to qualified roofing contractors who can safely navigate your roof. They have the right equipment, expertise, and insurance coverage. If you have any concerns, consider scheduling a roof inspection before the harsh season sets in.
Schedule Seasonal Gutter Cleanings
Maintaining clean gutters is important for your roof year-round, but it is especially so during the winter months. When gutters and downspouts become clogged with leaves, tree branches, and debris, it prevents proper drainage. This allows ice dams to form along the roof eaves as snow melts and refreezes. Schedule professional gutter cleanings before winter and after storm events during the season. Keep an eye out for leaks and icicles, which could signal issues.
Rake Off Early Snow Accumulation
After light snowfalls during late fall, you can use a roof rake to remove snow from vulnerable areas, like:
- The outer roof edges and overhangs where ice dams tend to develop first
- Valleys and areas above entryways prone to heavy snow slides
However, we would not recommend doing this yourself in the winter or after a major storm. While it may be tempting to grab a ladder and roof rake to remove heavy snow yourself, this is extremely dangerous and not recommended. Trying to shovel off your roof puts you at high risk for falls and injuries. Plus, improper snow removal can actually damage shingles and lead to interior leaks.
For safe and strategic snow clearing from sloped or hard-to-reach areas, consult qualified professional roofing contractors. They have the right safety equipment, proper techniques, and expertise to clear snow without compromising your roof’s integrity. Don’t risk hurting yourself or inadvertently causing costly repairs. Contact a reputable local roofing company to have snow safely removed from your roof this winter.
Increase Attic Ventilation and Insulation
Proper insulation and air circulation in your attic helps prevent ice dams by reducing the temperature differential and moisture between your attic and roof. Make sure you meet the recommended R-value insulation for Boulder’s climate zone. Also, verify your attic has adequate intake and exhaust vents that aren’t blocked. This allows moisture to properly vent outside.
Monitor for Leaks and Ice Dams
Keep a close eye on your roof for signs of leaks, ice dams forming, and other winter or wind damage:
- Dark water stains on interior ceilings and walls
- Ice buildup at roof edges and valleys
- Icicles hanging longer than 1 foot from the eaves
Don’t try to break up an ice dam yourself. Contact a professional roofer to safely remove large ice accumulations.
Clear Snow Strategically From Your Roof
After a severe snowfall, you can be left with a thick layer of snow on your roof. That heavy weight can cause significant damage to an already strained or poorly maintained roof. When heavy snow accumulation needs removal from your roof, have it safely done by qualified roofing contractors. We have the appropriate ladders, harnesses, roof rakes, and other snow removal equipment. Avoid causing roof damage by attempting to clear snow yourself.
We will prioritize snow removal from the following areas:
- 3 feet or more packed snow depth
- Areas above entryways and walkways
- Long eaves and overhangs
Take a Balanced Approach
Preparing your roof for winter weather takes a proactive but balanced approach. You want your roof cleared of excess snow accumulation but not stripped completely bare, which can actually increase ice dam risk. Work with trustworthy local roofing experts to find the right winter roof maintenance plan for your home.
With diligent preparation, monitoring, and the right roof maintenance tips, your roof can stay in tip top shape through the winter. Contact our roofing company today if you need a professional inspection or have any concerns about your roof’s readiness for the cold months ahead. We’re here to help your roof weather any storm.