Fall is a wise time of year to examine your roof to make sure it’s in good condition before winter limits your repair efforts. It is best to do this check after the gutters have been cleaned in the fall so problems are easier to spot. You should choose a professional who is trained in ladder safety and working at heights to inspect and maintain your roof. We’ll walk you through how to inspect a roof in the winter so you know what to expect from the professional you choose.
What if you discover that your roof needs repairs or needs to be replaced? It is important to work on the roof before the winter weather arrives. We’ll explain what you can expect from repair and replacement in the fall.
Plus, fall is also a great time of year to check your attic insulation and ventilation. Don’t forget to hang the fall decorations. Or, if you’re an early riser, don’t forget to hang up the Christmas lights. There is much to do before the snow arrives. Here’s how you should winterize your roof.
1. Gutter and roof cleaning
In Canada and the northern United States, fall brings with it the fall of the leaves. Although they are beautiful, they can get caught in gutters. After most of the leaves have fallen, it is essential to clean them up. If you don’t know
When you clean your gutters before winter, it’s also a good idea to look for signs of animal infestations. Squirrels, raccoons, birds, bees, bats, wasps and hornets can take up residence on your roof. For safety reasons, you may want to call a pest control specialist to have active animals removed.
Also, keep in mind that signs of animal infestation may be too high for you to see or reach with your ladder. While your roofing professional is doing your winter roofing inspection, he or she will be looking for signs of animals living under your roof in your attic.
Are you tired of cleaning your gutters every year before winter? Consider installing gutter guards. They do not affect the performance of your roof, but they do prevent leaves from entering the gutters.
2. Before winter roof inspection
No one wants a roof leak, but few people realize that they can prevent roof leaks with regular inspections. It’s a good idea to have a roof inspection in the spring so you can identify problems and fix your roof before the rainy season. A winter roof check is also a good idea to find small problems that could turn into leaks if left unchecked. Regular checkups are smart investments that can save you repairs and early roof replacement in the future.
Why have your roof examined in the fall instead of another season? Roofing professionals may be less busy in the fall as they handle emergencies and re-roofing jobs throughout the summer. They may offer a free or low-cost inspection to help generate business. So you can save a little money when you contact a roofer for an exam in the fall. However, don’t leave it too late in the season. You want to have enough time to fix problems before the snow starts to fall.
It is important to resolve any problems with your roof before the cold weather arrives. Roofs can sometimes be repaired and installed in the winter, but it’s more difficult for the roofing professional and more inconvenient for you.
When you call a roofing professional for a fall roof check, what should you expect? You cannot do a proper roof inspection from the ground. The roofing professional will climb on your ladder and carefully walk on your roof. He or she will examine every visible part of the roof to make sure it is in good working order.
Your winter roof inspection should include:
- Shingles: During the checkup, your roofing professional will look for missing, damaged, or improperly installed shingles. He will look for sections of the shingles that appear sagging, which can also be a sign of damage. The roofing professional may also find shingles with a damaged caulking adhesive. If the loose shingle is in good condition, he or she can simply seal it.
- Flashing: Roof flashing is the thin sheet of metal that surrounds certain roof features, like chimneys, to prevent leaks. Your roofing professional will be looking to see if your flashings are bent, rusted, or have other signs of damage.
- Valleys: The roof valley is a particularly vulnerable area of the roof, especially in winter. Different types of roof valleys work differently. Your roofer will make sure your valleys were installed correctly and remain in good condition. They may need to be cleaned, as pine needles and leaves tend to collect on them.
- Gutters: Your gutters may need more work than a simple cleaning. Your roofer will be on the lookout for leaks, sagging or misaligned gutters.
- Sealant: Your roof likely has asphalt sealant that holds roof plumbing vent flashing or other roof features in place. You may also have caulking over exposed nails. The roofing professional will make sure there is enough sealant and that it has not dried out and cracked.
- Signs of Damage: There are other signs of damage that the roofer will look for while examining your roof. He or she may find signs of an animal infestation, algae growth, and more.
3. Repairs and replacements in the fall
Your fall roof check may have revealed that your roof needs to be repaired or even replaced. Colder weather can affect a shingle’s sealant. If you’re going to get a shingle repair or replacement in the fall, you should ask your roofer how he or she will make sure your new shingles have enough time in the sun to seal properly. Then follow our tips to prepare for your roof replacement .
Depending on the problem that has worn down your old roof, you may want to choose a new type of shingles that can better withstand weather conditions. For example, IKO Performance Shingles offer increased protection against severe weather conditions. If you live in particularly harsh winters with hail and strong winds, IKO Nordic MC shingles may be suitable for your roof.