The winter months can be hard on your roof, in no small part because of weather concerns. Chances are you want to do your best to make sure your roof survives unscathed so you don't end up with a leak. The following are some winter mistakes to avoid that can help you prevent an unwanted winter leak.
#1: Ignoring your gutters
Ice dams occur on the roof in winter when ice collects at the edge of the roof. The ice closest to the roof melts and seeps underneath the shingles, where it refreezes. Then, when a thaw occurs that ice melts and the water leaks into your home. The primary cause of ice dams is poor drainage of melting ice and snow. Your gutters are designed to provide this drainage, but the water often backs up and freezes on the room when the gutters are clogged. In fall, before the winter weather hits, take the time to have your gutters and downspouts cleaned. This is also a good time to remove leaves and debris from the roof that could also block water drainage.
#2: Walking on the roof
It's not uncommon for homeowners to climb onto their roof come November or December in order to place holiday lights and decorations. Unfortunately, this can lead to major damage. Walking on a shingle roof is always a bad idea, since it dislodges the asphalt granules that help make the shingles waterproof. Cold, frozen shingles are also more likely to crack, which allows water to leak through. Instead of climbing on the roof, use an extension ladder and only install the lights around the perimeter of the roof. This way you can use gutter clips to secure the lights so the roof materials are in no danger of damage.
#3: Putting off repairs
Sometimes winter storms result in minor roof damage. Wind may dislodge a shingle or the weight of the snow may crack some flashing. It can be tempting to put off repairs until the weather is begins to warm, but this can result in a small problem becoming a major issue. Instead, call a roofing contractor for the repair. They can quickly replace a single shingle or fix the flashing before winter moisture seeps into your home or more shingles become displaced.
For more help or to ask a question about your roof, contact a roof repair company in your area.