How to Winterize Your Roof

A roof with clogged gutters that needs some roof maintenance

Moisture and cold weather don’t mix, which is why winter is one of the harshest times of the year for your roof. As those of us that live here know, in the Pacific Northwest, winter is the rainiest time of year. All that moisture can get into the nooks and crannies on your roof and cause serious damage.

Preparing your roof for the rainy, cold months of winter is essential if you want to keep your home in good condition. Here are a few easy ways to winterize your roof.

Take a Good Look at Your Roof

Before actually doing anything, get out your magnifying glass and inspect the situation. Climb onto your roof (safely!) and see if there are any issues. Look over all the different parts of your roof to make sure they’re in good repair:

  • Shingles
  • Flashings
  • Saddles
  • Ridge

Be sure to take a close look at the caulking around any separations in your roof, like around the chimney and other flashings. Broken caulk means leaks, which is a big problem. If you notice any other problems like missing or damaged shingles, it’s time to call a roofing professional to get them fixed before the brunt of the rainy season strikes!

Clean Out the Gutters

It’s impossible to stress this enough: if you don’t clean out your gutters, water won’t drain off your roof, leading to leaks, moisture damage, cracked foundations, and a whole bunch of other problems you don’t need to deal with.

Keep your gutters clear of sticks, leaves, mud, and other debris to make sure water can flow off your roof and away from your house. Clean out your gutters before the rainy season hits. Not only is it better for your roof, but dry leaves also are much better to touch than gross, wet, muddy leaves.

Trim Overhanging Trees

If temperatures drop below freezing, the trees around your house could accumulate snow and ice on the branches. Yes, it’s beautiful, but it’s also very heavy. The extra weight can easily snap branches, causing them to plummet down onto your house.

Before the winter weather strikes, trim back any tree branches hanging over your house. If there aren’t any branches to fall on your roof, you won’t have to repair any holes—or wear a raincoat inside all winter.

Look in the Attic

When most people inspect their roof, they just look at the exterior, but the underside of your roof is just as important! Don’t forget to check in your attic for problems:

  • Holes in the plywood
  • Excessive moisture
  • Mold growth
  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Lack of insulation (or in disrepair)

The attic is the easiest place to spot problems with your roof. It might be hard to see a minor pinhole while looking at your shingles, but it’s pretty easy to see a big damp spot on the underside of your roof sheathing.

While you’re checking for moisture and mold, make sure your insulation looks good too. Your insulation is what protects you from the cold outside winter chill. If your house isn’t properly insulated, you might have to wear a winter jacket while watching TV.

In most northern climates, including the greater Seattle area, it’s recommended to have at least 16-18 inches of insulation to keep the warm in and the cold out.

Get a Roofing Inspection

Looking over your roof for issues isn’t always straightforward. There are plenty of things that only a professional would know to look for. If you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of roof maintenance, it helps to get a professional roofing inspection before winter weather strikes.

A roofing inspector will be able to find any issue with your roof and get it repaired quickly to make sure your home is ready for the changing weather. Don’t get left out in the cold. If you need a roof inspection for winter, call the experts at Cloise and Mike Construction. We have years of experience helping Kistap County homeowners keep their roofs in good repair and the rain off their heads. Contact us to request a free roof inspection and get ready for the cold, wet chill of winter.