The leaves are changing, the air is getting cooler, and there’s a nip in the breeze. It’s time to put away those summer clothes and pull out your winter ones. But you can’t just pack up all of your belongings from inside of your home. You have to take care of one more thing: making sure that your home is ready for a nasty winter storm or a heavy snowfall before it arrives.
Roofs are the first line of defense against heavy snowfall and can take a beating from it. If your roof is damaged, the weight of the snow could cause structural damage to your home. To avoid that, it’s a good idea to prepare your roof before winter really sets in. Here are seven steps that will help get your roof ready for winter:
Inspect your roof for damage.
You never know what a harsh winter might do to your roof. One strong wind gust or an ice dam could cause serious damage that you weren’t aware of until it’s too late. Look for missing shingles, cracked boards, and uneven surfaces. If you see any of these, your roof probably needs to be fixed before winter.
Inspect the flashing around chimneys for damage.
Your home’s exterior walls are covered in a protective barrier called weatherproofing. A crucial part of this is the flashing that goes around chimneys and skylight windows.
This might not seem very important because it doesn’t keep out water as shingles do, but it can prevent wind from getting into your house through cracks or holes in the mortar between bricks. Holes in this area usually let air pass through them, allowing wind to enter your home and cause drafts.
Recaulk around skylights, windows, and doors.
Are you tired of feeling a draft when the weather turns colder? Is it hard for you to close your door or window because there’s too much space between them? If so, then perhaps it’s time that you recaulked these areas, which is basically applying caulk over an old coat of caulk in order to smooth out any unevenness on either side.
This will help seal up cracks that might let cold air into your home during winter and warm air into your house during warmer months. You can also replace damaged caulking with silicone if needed. Just make sure not to use acrylic latex caulk as they become very brittle in extreme cold.
Clean debris from the gutters.
It’s not a bad idea to clean out your gutters before winter rolls in. Leaves, twigs, and other types of debris can clog them up pretty quickly if they’re allowed to stay there during endless months of rain or snowfall.
If the gutter is full, water will have no place to go but onto your roof and possibly cause leaks inside your home. Use a stiff-bristled brush with soft wire bristles so you don’t damage any parts of it while cleaning it off. Be sure that leaves are wet when you do this step because dry ones could tear apart some shingles while being removed by hand or blown away with compressed air.
Apply anti-icing granules on any exposed metal.
If you have a metal roof, then this step is especially important because it will keep the snow from sticking to your roof in order to prevent ice dams. These granules look similar to salt and when they come into contact with water or moisture on any surface, even if that’s just from rain or melting snowflakes, they dissolve and turn into a brine solution which prevents the formation of ice crystals by lowering their freezing point.
Abrasive compounds can be put directly onto these areas instead of anti-icing granules but make sure not to use them during windy weather.
Place a barrier over your vents and exhausts.
Vents are pretty important for keeping the air inside of your home from getting too humid or stale so it’s not a good idea to cover them up with insulation, which is something that might be done during winter because excess heat can escape through these openings in order to keep homes warm at all times.
Instead, use aluminum foil or heavy plastic sheeting to create barriers around outside vents and then secure those sheets by using screws into the siding on either side of each opening.
Clean out dryer vents before cold weather arrives.
If your clothes dryer isn’t vented to the outside, then you may want to take this step. This is because lint that accumulates in these vents can cause fires if it builds up too much during winter and humid or moist weather conditions aren’t around to help keep that lint from combusting over time.
Locate the vent which should be located near a wall at least three feet above ground level.
Preparing your roof before winter.
With this guide, you’ll be able to easily take care of your home before winter comes around. There are even more things that could be done but these seven steps should get you started on the right track.