A major problem for many Californians during the winter time is air leaks from the roof. While those that live higher in the mountains may have to worry about snow buildup and ice dams, most of us only have to deal with the occasional rain shower or Santa Ana winds. Since mild weather is a Golden State specialty, you might only be considering your roof’s efficiency this winter, but you could be missing out on other critical safety tips.
To ensure your roof is ready for winter, whether you’re anticipating snowfall or just trying to keep the warm air in, read on for our top tips for winter roof maintenance.
1. Take a Tour
The absolute first step in winter roof maintenance is taking a visual tour of your entire home. Look for potential problem areas like missing shingles, abnormal flashing around the chimney, and odd looking eaves. If you had any leaks from previous storms around roofing or windows, plug them up right away and waterproof them again.
You’ll also want to check your attic for any drafts, as these may indicate serious ventilation or insulation issues. Use all your senses when inspecting your home — listen for unnatural creaking, look for dirt and stains, feel for drafts, and smell for mold.
2. Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is the best way to seal the air into your home. Whether you’re running the air conditioner during summer or trying to warm up during the winter, weather stripping can be installed in less than a day. Pick up some seals at almost any hardware store and check on drafts along your:
- Vents And Fans
- Air Conditioners
- Electrical and Gas Lines
- Mail Chutes
- Plumbing Areas
What affects your roof, affects your entire house! Extend your winter roof maintenance to all areas of your home.
3. Clean Gutters
Clean gutters are a crucial winter roof maintenance tip for all homes. Whether they’re clogged by leaves, branches, dirt, or other debris, dirty gutters can stop rain and snow water from draining away properly. Improper drainage could wear away the waterproofing on your roof and cause serious water damage.
If you’re not confident in your gutter cleaning abilities, it’s easy to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with CHR&R!
4. Prune Your Trees
Part of keeping your gutters clean means pruning the trees around your home. The last thing you need to fall into your freshly cleaned gutters is more leaves and branches from your landscaping essentials.
Pruning your trees will also prevent larger branches from falling on your house during strong winds or rain.
5. Prevent Ice Dams
If you’re living in Big Bear, the Sierras, or other cold California regions, ice dams are an important consideration for your winter roof maintenance. If you’re not familiar with ice dams, they’re areas along your roof where warm air escaping your home can melt the snow — which later refreezes. Ice dams block drains and cause water buildup on your roof, eventually leading to serious weakening and damage.
To ensure you’re preventing ice dams, you’ll need to make sure your attic has the proper insulation and ventilation to let cold air in without letting warm air out. Check areas like pipes, vents, chimneys, and light fixtures for insulation, and contact a professional to ensure quality roof ventilation.
6. Get a Roof Rake
Another tip for those who live in snowy areas is a roof rake. While most roofs can handle up to four feet of snow before they feel the pressure, it’s best to keep your roof as clear as possible during the winter months — just in case a freak snow storm hits.
7. Protect Pipes
Even if you don’t get snow, nighttime temperatures often drop to freezing levels even in mild, Southern California areas. Don’t let your pipes freeze and cause an accident that could result in thousands of dollars of water damage. Some ways you can prevent pipe freezing include:
- Letting your faucets drip to provide relief for pipes during cold nights.
- Don’t turn the heat down too much when you leave the house.
- Check for vulnerable piping and wrap it in insulation.
- If water flow stops, call a plumber right away!
8. Call CHR&R!
If you have serious concerns about your roof’s durability for the winter, checking with a professional is a great way to be safe. Contact our team and Custom Home Remodeling & Roofing to ensure your winter roof maintenance is done and your home is prepared for the rain, snow, or winds in your area!