How to Prepare Your Roof for Winter

Nov 18, 2020 | Roofing

Whether you’ve lived in Boise or other parts of Idaho all your life or you’re new to the area, the winters here can be intense and accompanied by heavy snow and lots of ice.

It’s crucial to prepare your roof for winter in order to keep your property and your family safe and secure.

Read on for some roof winter tips for homeowners so you can be prepared for whatever this winter brings your way.


Prepare Your Roof by Starting with the Gutters

Your gutters are an essential part of the roof and home, which is why they should be part of your winter preparation plan. If the gutters become clogged and accumulate debris, it can cause a myriad of issues.

The purpose of gutters is to redirect rainwater or melted snow and ice down and away from the roof and the foundation of your home. Damaged or clogged gutters can cause water to pool on your roof, leading to serious leaks.

When the temps drop in the Treasure Valley, your roof is also at higher risk of ice dams forming. To prevent these issues, make sure your gutters are clean before and throughout the winter.

Ideally, you should clean your gutters at least two times per year: in the fall, and just before winter arrives. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact a professional to come and clean your gutters.

All leaves, branches, twigs, and any other outdoor debris should be cleared. Make sure you check the drains and downspouts for clogs, too. Gutters should be tightly secured to prevent overflow. When ice builds up and then melts, the water needs to have a defined place to travel.


Cut or Trim Trees Near Your Home

When it comes to proper winter roof maintenance, tall trees, and large branches can also pose a problem. Falling leaves, twigs, and small branches that fall into the gutters can add up fast and cause them to clog.

Take a walk around your home and look for long, heavy tree limbs or dead limbs. These can pose a serious threat during Boise’s windy storms and heavy rains, and can even crash into your roof, leaving severe damage behind.

Another reason to trim your trees? Small animals like raccoons and squirrels love to climb on trees and may decide to use them as a pathway to get inside your attic.

Trim all overextended tree limbs, dead limbs, and anything else that may be hanging directly over your home. You should also trim tall bushes to keep small pests away.


Take a Look at the Flashing

Another important way to prepare your roof for the frigid Boise winters is to check the flashing. This component of your roof prevents leaks and keeps water from entering your home.

Most flashing is made of metal like aluminum or galvanized metal that redirects water off the roof. You’ll find flashing on the joints and at the intersections of your roof, and around skylights or chimneys.

When the temperatures reach freezing, when it rains, or during strong storms and heavy winds, the flashing can come loose, corrode and rust, or lift upward. Check your flashing carefully to make sure it’s secured properly.

If it looks like your flashing is missing or severely damaged, it’s time to call the professionals. A local roofing company can either re-seal the loose flashing or replace it as needed.


Inspect Those Shingles

Shingles are another crucial element of any roof that can start to wear down over time. Older roofs are especially vulnerable to problems relating to shingles.

Windy days can cause shingles to come loose and blow off. Heavy snow, rain, and ice buildup can also cause shingles to wear down as time goes on. If you’re missing shingles or notice some are loose, it’s crucial to get them replaced as soon as possible before winter strikes.

Loose granules that are building up in your gutters is a sure sign that your shingles are wearing out. Other indicators include curling shingles, debris lodged underneath the shingles, or when you see some shingles flapping in the wind.

If you don’t replace the shingles that have issues, it can lead to leaks or even a possible entire roof replacement. Contact our company to inspect your roof and replace any shingles as needed. The sooner you do this simple task, the more protected your roof will be for the winter season.

Invest in high-quality shingles that come with a wind damage warranty whenever possible. If you decide to replace your entire roof, ask about warranties on both the installation and the materials. While you can’t prevent winter from happening, you can at least protect your investment.


Check Out the Attic

Another important way to prepare your roof for winter is to inspect your attic. This part of your home can contribute to ice dams, cause you to waste energy, and potentially contribute to water damage if it’s not in good condition.

Make sure that your attic is properly insulated and that it has the right ventilation. If not, heat can easily escape from your home, causing your energy bills to skyrocket. Escaping heat can also mean that it’s much colder indoors than it should be.

When heat escapes from your attic, it can also cause the shingles on your roof to curl or loosen. This leads to ice dams forming on the roof as the snow begins to melt from the heat underneath.

Perform a simple inspection of your attic and make sure that the insulation is in good condition and evenly distributed. Confirm that there is a proper ventilation system so that warm air can circulate correctly.

When your attic is insulated and ventilated, it keeps the heat indoors and away from the roof. It’s also a smart way to keep your home warmer so you can save energy. If you’re unsure about the attic, contact the pros to come to inspect it and make the proper recommendations.


Inspect the Sealant and the Chimney

Roofs with antennas, plumbing stacks, or brick stacks typically have sealer around the base. This material can easily wear down over time and leave gaps behind.

Do a quick inspection of all sealant around the features of your roof. If the caulk or sealant looks loose or worn, remove it and replace it with some new sealant as soon as possible to prevent leaks.

Many Boise residents have fireplaces, which means you should also inspect your chimney. If you see pieces of mortar or bricks that are loose or missing, it’s time to get those replaced ASAP.

Chips or cracks in the mortar can pose a real risk to your roof and your home. A leaning chimney or other visible signs of damage should be addressed right away.

Any breach in the chimney can allow water to seep indoors. Contact our roofing company to inspect the chimney or look for a professional who specializes in brickwork so they can make the necessary repairs.


Prepare for Boise Winters

Thousands of people from California and other states are now making Boise and other parts of Idaho their home. To prepare your roof and the rest of your home for winter, it’s important to know what to expect.

The winters in Boise generally begin around mid-November. Heavy snow tends to accumulate both in the mountain ranges and all around the valley.

The average snowfall in Boise is typically about 18 inches per year. Whether it comes in spurts or all at once, this snow can wreak havoc on your roof if you aren’t fully prepared.

Autumn tends to be brief in the Treasure Valley, with winter approaching soon thereafter. That’s why it’s so important to follow some easy roof maintenance tips as soon as possible so you can protect your home when the Idaho winters strike.

Temperatures in January and February tend to reach below freezing at night in Boise and the Treasure Valley. When this happens, water can easily turn to ice, which can pose a serious threat to your roof.

A well-insulated attic and clean, secure gutters are essential to prevent ice dams and other ice-related damage during the winter. The attic can also help to keep your home warm, making your abode a much more energy-efficient space.


Get Ready for Boise Winters with Proper Preparation

Consider these simple tips so you can prepare your roof for the cold winters of Boise and the Treasure Valley. With a few simple checkups and minor changes, your roof should easily be able to withstand the wind, rain, and snow.

Examine shingles, check your gutters, and cut back tree limbs to keep your roof safe. A bit of preparation can go a long way in providing you with a safe home and peace of mind.

To learn more about our services, ask questions, or to schedule an appointment, please visit our website and contact us today.