Throughout the year, your roof takes a lot of abuse. One particularly challenging season for roofs around Charleston is winter. With unpredictable weather and potential frozen precipitation, there’s a lot working against your roof. Since your home’s roof is essential to protecting the integrity of your home, it’s important to prepare and maintain your roof so that it’s not overwhelmed by harsh winter weather. To help you understand potential challenges your roof might face, here are some roof preparation tips from the pros at Charleston Roofs + Windows.
Schedule an Inspection
Easily the most important thing you can do to make sure your roof is ready for winter is to schedule a roof inspection with Charleston Roofs + Windows. Letting an experienced professional look over your roof will provide confidence that your roof isn’t lacking in terms of protecting your home. The inspector will look at the overall condition of the roof as well as the condition of each individual shingle. They will also check the gutters, chimneys, flues, the flashing around roof protrusions, and any other component on your roof. In some cases, they might also enter your attic and check the condition of the underside of the roof. At the conclusion of the inspection, the inspector can issue a report detailing any repairs you need to have done to ensure your roof is ready for winter.
Replacing Missing or Broken Shingles
Roof shingles are strong, durable, and built to last. However, when exposed to harsh weather conditions for years at a time, shingles can begin to deteriorate and break apart. Furthermore, strong winds during summer and winter storms may blow some shingles off entirely. Replacing these broken and missing shingles is of utmost importance. Even a small break in a shingle can interrupt the water protection that a roof is designed to provide. Fortunately, when a roofing expert takes care of replacing your shingles, they can often find exact color matches to ensure your roof looks great. Plus, they will know and utilize the proper methods to install the new shingles so that they don’t disturb the surrounding shingles.
Adding Protection Around Protrusions
Although a roof is largely solid, there are still points when components from inside your home need to protrude through the roof. Skylights, exhaust pipes, attic vents, and other important items are all critical to the proper functioning of your home’s mechanical systems. To ensure these items don’t cause problems, though, proper flashing is a must. Since most flashing is made of metal, it can sometimes warp through the years as it’s heated by the sun. This can reduce the protective properties of the flashing. Then, in the winter, when snow accumulates on the roof and holds moisture against the flashing, the flashing can begin to leak. Charleston Roofs + Windows will carefully inspect and replace the flashing around all roof protrusions to ensure you don’t end up with water damage in your home due to a roof leak.
Removing Low-Hanging Limbs
Although snow isn’t a terribly common occurrence in Charleston, ice is a problem that happens with some regularity. Both ice and snow can cause major problems for your roof if there are tree branches hanging low over the roof. During an ice storm or snowstorm, the branches can sink lower until they rest on your roof. Then, when the wind picks up, the heavy branches can scratch across the roof and cause damage to your shingles. Furthermore, the wet branches can hold moisture against the roof and cause serious discoloration of your roof. When pruning your tree, it’s typically best to let a professional do the job for two main reasons. First, you’re often dealing with branches at great height, meaning that you’re risking serious injury if you try to prune the tree yourself. Second, if you prune the tree incorrectly, you could damage the tree and reduce its lifespan. A professionally pruned tree will help both your tree and roof thrive.
Make Sure Gutters Are Clean
Clogged gutters can cause multiple issues resulting in serious damage to your home. That’s why Charleston Roofs + Windows recommends cleaning your gutters as part of your winter preparations. If water can’t flow freely through the gutters, it can be easy for water to get under your shingles and damage the sheathing underneath. Snow exacerbates this problem since it has a larger volume than liquid water, meaning the gutters will be more overloaded than they are when liquid precipitation is falling. Cleaning your gutters also helps protect your home’s walls, foundation, and landscaping, making it a worthwhile task. If you can’t easily reach the gutters from the ground, it’s a good idea to let a professional with experience being on a roof handle your gutter cleaning.
Ensure Adequate Insulation
What’s under your roof is just as important as what’s on top of your roof when it comes to winter preparation. Specifically, it’s important to make sure that your attic has adequate insulation before winter rears its ugly head in Charleston. Improving the insulation in your attic will reduce the flow of heat from your home’s interior into the attic. This is important during heavy snows because excess heat in the attic can cause snow on the roof to melt too quickly and potentially result in ice dams on the edge of the roof that can cause serious roof damage. Moreover, improving the insulation in your attic will help keep the temperature inside your home more consistent and help you save money on your utility bills.
Don’t Underestimate Winter Winds
In the south, strong winds associated with summer storms tend to get all the attention. However, fierce winter winds, especially in a coastal city like Charleston, should not be overlooked. In fact, damage to your roof that happens during the winter is much more likely to be caused by strong winds than ice or snow. In a nutshell, that’s why a pre-winter roof inspection from Charleston Roofs + Windows is so important. Ice and snow events tend to exacerbate issues that are easy to spot. For example, heavy snow can wreak havoc on clogged gutters, and clogged gutters are easy to spot. On the other hand, strong winds can take even the smallest weakness on your roof and make it a major problem. Only a trained professional can spot these small weaknesses. Therefore, even if you don’t notice any of these issues when you glance at your roof, a roof inspection is still a good idea.
Ready To Help
At Charleston Roofs + Windows, we are ready to help with your roof inspection needs. We can also take care of roof repairs, replacements, maintenance, gutter repair and replacement, reroofing, and much more. Plus, we install, repair, and maintain windows, making us a great resource to improve many aspects of your home’s exterior. For over ten years, we’ve been working hard to earn the trust of our customers with our top-notch service and unfailing integrity. That’s why we’re able to maintain our status as an approved service provider on HomeAdvisor and continually receive five-star customer reviews. To learn more about getting your roof ready for harsh winter weather, contact us at Charleston Roofs + Windows today.