How to prepare your roof for the winter season:
1st: Getting to know your roof
Chimney Flashing: The material used between the to protect the joints between the roof and chimney from water penetration. This can be the culprit of chimney leaks so make sure this is properly sealed or call a professional for repair. Only caulking may be necessary but if the flashing is poorly installed it can lead to more damage.
2. Roof Vents: Why should my roof be vented? On a cold winter day water vapor (moisture), from showering, doing dishes, laundry, etc. is combined with warm air in the home. This creates condensation that rises into the attic. The vent allows the moisture to escape. Also, keep in mind that the abundance of moisture can cause dripping of water in the attic's insulation. This will in turn create ineffective insulation (if too much water is absorbed) which will cause rooms to be colder. In the winter this creates the need to turn up the heat and higher energy bills! Make sure your roof is properly vented and insulated!
2b. Preventing Ice Dams: The easiest way to prevent ice dams is to clean your gutters! By cleaning them out at least once a year will help so debris will not get trapped in them and freeze when the temp drops. When the snow melts the water will be able to drain fully off of the house. If your roof is properly insulated and vented, an accumulation of snow can still cause ice damming. The snow actually acts as insulation and when it sits on the roof over a period of time the underneath layers can melt and refreeze. If a lot of snow is on the roof for a length of time, you should shovel it off 10' from the roof's edge. This will allow the sun to hit the areas subject to ice and dry them out. If your roof has been re-shingled recently, it most like has an Ice & Water Shield to protect from leakage.
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