It was only the first week of November when I read an AccuWeather.com article about how the arctic air that comes from the polar vortex will affect 200 million people in several countries in the Northern region, including the USA and Canada. The Central states will be the most affected, including Ohio, which means we are in for one of the coldest freezes in years.
What’s more, residents of the affected areas are likely to experience a combination of ice, sleet, snow, wind, and freezing rain, that could increase the risk for winter-related conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia, as well as road accidents. Your best bet would be to stay at home and sit on a cozy chair near the fireplace.
However, your home will not be as warm as you would want it to be if you have not winterized your roof yet. Don’t worry, it’s not going to require a specific set of skills to do. In fact, I will guide you through the process of basic winterization. If you’re a DIY enthusiast, then this will be a walk in the park for you! Not everyone can stand a lengthy winter preparation, so I have stripped the guide down to the basics for you to follow and finish with ease.
For basic winterization, we’re going to focus only on your roof. Here are five steps to winterizing your roof:
Step #1: Cut down those tree branches
It is important that you remove any low hanging tree branches above and near your roof. Why? This is to prevent the branches from damaging your roof when snow starts to accumulate on top of them and they break. Wind alone can also break branches near your roof, so it would be wise to trim them before they end up damaging your roof at the worst time possible.
Step #2: Check for pests
As winter makes itself felt, you must ensure that your home is shielded from any possible animal infiltration. This means looking out for any indications of pest infestation, as furry animals like squirrels and raccoons, as well as pesky rats, can seek shelter from the harsh winter inside your home. Unless you sympathize with them and are willing to pay for the damages they may cause to your home, have your home checked for holes, crevices, and weak spots that can be a potential entrance into your home.
Step #3: Install heat cables
We all know how bothersome and damaging snow and ice are when they linger on your roof. The bad news is that it cannot be avoided, especially when a huge snowstorm makes it way to your town. When you let water accumulate on your roof, the parts that make up your roofing system are slowly damaged. Ice dams can also form and clog gutters and further prevent moisture from running off whenever the snow melts.
Fortunately there is a solution: heat cables. These are electric products that are strategically placed on roofs and gutters to melt the ice and snow that is on top of your roof, without harming your roofing system. Cracks, breaks, and water damage on your roof are prevented.
Step #4: Remove leaves and other debris
Leaves, dead branches, acorns, and other similar objects can help trap in moisture on your roof if you don’t take care and remove them now. You don’t want roofing problems to welcome you after all the snow and ice have melted on your roof.
Step #5: Clean gutters
Maintaining rain gutters is integral part of the roof winterization process. Clogged gutters won’t be able to do what they are designed to do, so make sure they are cleaned and properly functioning before snow and ice start forming on your roof. That way, water can flow away from your home and not get stuck on your roof.
If you think there are more things to be done on your roof that you cannot do on your own, or simply do not have the time to complete in time for winter, then a professional contractor can help you get the job done. You can ask for a comprehensive gutter cleaning or a heating cable installation. By doing all these things I mentioned above, you can spend your winter comfortably inside your home without having to worry about roof damage.
Kevin Campopiano is the Commercial Roofing Division Operation Manager of Campopiano Roofing. After serving five years as a manager, he understands the value and quality of workmanship after working with his father on the field. He values customer satisfaction and enjoys every challenge that comes his way. He writes for his passion is to extend a hand to many roofers and customers via the company’s blog.