For homeowners thankful for the roof over their heads, it’s a great time to give it something back by providing a little attention, care and maintenance this season.
While quality metal roofs are well-known for their strong, reliable, long-lasting and easy maintenance attributes, there are simple steps all homeowners should take to prepare for the cold, snow and ice season ahead, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA), the industry’s leading trade organization.
“By planning ahead, homeowners can avoid issues or problems that can happen this time of year when freezing temperatures and blizzard conditions hit,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director. “Keeping your roof in tiptop shape can help ensure long lasting performance for many years to come. It’s the best way to stay safe rather than sorry this season.”
MRA’s top five tips for winter rooftop preparedness include:
- Clean your gutters
It’s amazing how many homeowners don’t pay attention to the amount of gunk that collects in their gutters, until it’s too late. However, this simple step can prevent ice dams, leaks and other costly problems when snow and ice hit. Overflowing gutters can lead to much more serious issues, including foundation damage and the potential for leaks. It’s also a good time to make sure gutters are securely fastened and ready to stand up to the potential weight of heavy snow and ice.
- Trim trees and bushes
Keep vegetation trimmed and away from the roof. Doing so will help keep gutters clean and is a good safety precaution, especially in areas that experience strong winds, snow or ice which can lead to broken branches that can damage roofs.
- Deal with dirt and debris
Dirt and debris– combined with wet, cool weather–can cause moss and algae to grow on your roof. Not only is this an unsightly problem, it may lead to rot and displaced shingles, impacting roofing material such as wood shakes and asphalt in particular. If replacing a roof in climates prone to these issues, choose a smoother, easier to clean material such as metal roofs, which tend to shed debris more easily and naturally resist moss and algae without the use of harsh chemicals.
- Be on guard
Metal roofs can help prevent ice dams from forming in the first place, but in areas that experience heavy snow and ice, properly placed and installed snow guards work to keep frozen precipitation in place, allowing it to melt and slide off gradually rather than in dangerous chunks. For more details about what you need to know when it comes to snow guard installation and preventing rooftop avalanches, click here.
- Invest in insulation
Adding or replacing attic insulation and ensuring proper venting will keep your home comfortable and protected in any season. Have a professional roofer conduct an energy audit in your attic and make sure it includes proper venting to avoid high indoor humidity levels while maximizing energy savings.
Remember, safety is the number one top priority for any type of roof maintenance or care no matter what the season. Rooftop falls can be dangerous and even deadly. Never get on a roof without proper safety gear, in inclement weather conditions, or if you feel unsafe, insecure or unsteady. Better yet, leave all rooftop inspection and maintenance to a qualified, experienced pro who is licensed, bonded and insured. An experienced pro can safely identify potential trouble spots, point out needed maintenance and recommend proper repairs for minor problems before they turn into major issues.
If your home does need a new roof, be sure to choose an option best suited for your region’s climate and is designed to offer long-lasting, reliable protection and strong performance year in and out. For more information, be sure to take advantage of free resources such as the MRA’s comprehensive Buyer’s Guide.