With unpredictable weather, many of our clients along the coast of Delaware are concerned about maintaining their roofs. We estimate that homeowners should have roof inspections about twice a year to assess structural health. Summer is the best time so that any necessary preparations can be made. This could be a repair job, such as installing new shingles, or a full roof replacement if need be. Ensuring the strength and durability of your roof before the winter season is important when preparing for heavy snowfall and ice.

Assessing the Condition of Your Roof

The first step homeowners should make when inspecting roof condition is to assess the attic ceiling. Take notice of any stains and mark where they are. These may indicate leaks or weak spots in your roof. By marking them, you can pinpoint the problem areas during your external examination. Leaks in your roof can be a result of poor shingle conditions such as curling and missing or loose shingles. Simple spot replacements can help prevent water from seeping in and causing serious structural damages.

Other assessments homeowners should make concern the roof’s soffits, fascia, and gutters. Look for cracks, rotting or sagging gutters which put stress on the soffits and fascia of the roof. This is especially important when snowfall or ice during the winter can add more weight to the gutters. Handle roof repairs or replacements before winter when weather conditions are better and threats of heavy rainfall or snow are minimal. You can find more information about roof assessment and red flags here.

Protecting Your Roof from Snow and Ice

Heavy snowfall can cause a number of damages to your roof, especially if it’s in poor condition. Large amounts of snow create pressure that can weaken or break the structural integrity resulting in roof-collapse. The best way to prevent this is to remove snow from your roof using a roof rake. By implementing regular roof cleaning after snowfall, you avoid the risk of exceeding its load-bearing capacity. You can find the best rated roof snow removal tools here (not an affiliate or sponsored link.) This also helps prevent the formation of ice dams and ice buildup in your gutters.

Another potential problem during the season are leaks. These can occur for two reasons: poor shingle or roof conditions and the formation of ice dams. Replacing weak spots in the roof prevents the threat of leaks caused by melting snow. However, another cause of leaks are ice dams that form when water cannot drain due to blocked gutters. As snow melts, refreezes, and melts again it causes water to pool and seep beneath shingles. Remember to remove leaves and debris from your gutters before the start of winter. You can also use a salt brine to prevent ice formation during snowstorms and falling temperatures. Refer to this article on staying safe during routine gutter cleaning.

Try to avoid using chemical snow removal methods despite their ease of use. These chemicals may break down snow and ice, but they can also break down roofing materials. Manual snow removal is the best option to protect the structural strength and longevity of your roof.

Eliminating structural threats to your roof is essential in preventing leaks and roof-collapse from snowfall. If you find previous damage or damage sustained from snowfall, we are here to help. We can examine and implement necessary maintenance and repairs to protect your home. Contact us to discuss your roofing options.