How to Finish Roof Cleaning Before Winter

A good roof cleaning can help your house withstand winter storms. If it’s been a long time since you have taken a serious look at your roof, it may be time to pick a weekend to start. Here’s what to look for:

1. Missing Shingles

In mild, summer months you may be able to get away with missing or broken shingles without experiencing many ill effects. Do not expect this to continue through winter. The rains, ice and wind that the cold months bring will find those shingle problems and will quickly turn them into serious leaks. The best way to prevent this is to check your roof carefully before winter starts. Make sure that all of your shingles are whole and healthy.

2. Clogged Gutters

Winter windstorms can throw a lot of debris onto your roof. Debris can cause damage and an unsightly mess. In addition, the debris already on your roof can cause even more insidious damage. When needles, leaves, and dirt pile up in your roof valley and your gutter, they become trapping places for the rainfall that winter can bring.

Those pockets of debris quickly become thriving spots for moss and algae, as well as prime locations for leaks to develop. The solution is simple and very effective: Before the winter weather hits, clean out your gutters. Use a ladder, a bucket, and maybe a hose or towel to help out. You can do this on your own, or hire a professional company.

3. Congested Valleys

Gutters aren’t the only places that debris can collect on a roof. For many home rooftops, a certain amount of leaves or pine needles will also get stuck in the valleys. As with gutters, these piles can become dust traps and can encourage moisture, moss, leaks and ice dams.

You can get onto your roof with a broom and sweep the junk “downstream” as long as you act safely, move carefully, and preferably have experience working on rooftops. You can also ask a roofing contractor for a basic maintenance project analysis.

4. Ice Dam Problems

An ice dam is an event that happens when snow piles up on your roof and begins to thaw before freezing again. This creates icicles, but it also creates ice dams on your roof that prevent snow and moisture from sliding off the roof and into your gutters. This is bad news: ice dams cause moisture to seep into your roof over days at a time.

To help fight ice dams, the flashing against the edges of your roof should be straight and clean with no cracks or bends. Check the caulk sealing the flashing and other areas of the house. If the caulk looks ragged or is missing, those sections need to be resealed. Additional caps and preventative measures are also available if you have continuing issues with ice dams.

For further tips and help through the winter months, stay connected with us at Findlay Roofing.

Photo Source: Flickr

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