Winter is well and truly here, and with it comes new possible dangers for your roof. The winter rain can do a lot of damage if left unchecked, so you need to be on top of it to ensure that nothing should happen to your home.
Here’s what may happen, and how you can stop it to keep your roof in the best condition possible.
How Does Winter Rain Damage Your Roof?
There are few different ways your roof can be damaged by excessive winter rain. It’s true that it doesn’t have to be freezing to cause any damage, either. Here’s what could happen:
1. Water seeping into your roof
If you see excessive rain this winter, it will get into your roof if it’s not properly secured against it. Normally, your shingles and protective layer underneath them should be enough to keep water out. As you may find though, a chink in that armor will let the water in. There are several problems this can cause. You’ll see leaks in your home, such as in the ceilings, rot and mildew starting to form in the wooden structure of the roof, and clogging of your rain gutters.
2. Clogged gutters
Speaking of clogged gutters, these are a serious problem you should be looking out for. When the gutters are working as intended, they will carry away any water that falls onto your roof safely. When the rain is hard though, they can get clogged and stop allowing water through them properly. This is especially true if there’s debris that has been picked up by the water. This leads to water overflowing onto your roof, and leaking will occur.
What To Look For
Worried about rain causing damage to your roof this winter? You can keep an eye on your roof, to ensure that you catch any damage before it becomes a serious problem. Keep a look out for the following:
1. Pooling water
If your roof has an uneven surface, then you’ll see water pooling on the roof during times of hard rain. If left to sit on your roof, this will make its way through the roof and into your home, causing damage.
2. Roof detachment
When you inspect your roof, look to see if any sections of the roof have come away from the house itself. Strong winds that come with rain can tear parts of it away. If this is not addressed quickly, the damage will become worse every time there are strong winds.
3. Weathering of the roof
Your roof will become weathered over time as it’s exposed to the elements. Take a look at your roof and see if it has changed in any way. The most obvious example is discoloration that comes from algae forming on the roof due to wet conditions. You may also see shingles being pulled away from the roof, which need top be addressed quickly.
How To Avoid Winter Rain Damage To Your Roof
So, how are you going to stop rain damaging your roof this winter? If you take some preventative steps, you’ll be able to keep it in good condition throughout the cold season. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
1. Inspect your roof
Before winter begins in earnest, you’ll need to inspect your roof. Take the time to have a good look, and see if there are any issues that need to be addressed. Take a look at the outside, and see if any shingles need replacing, or flashing fixed. You want to ensure that no water can get in. Don’t forget to get into your attic and look at the roof from the inside, too. If you can see light through your roof, that’s a sign there’s damage on the outside.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, or you want an expert opinion, call in a roofer to take a look at the roof for you. This will ensure that nothing gets missed.
2. Replace any shingles
If you’ve noticed that there are any shingles missing or broken, you’ll need to replace them before winter. They’re a prime spot for rain water to get in, so you need to close the gap up now. It’s fairly simple to replace a shingle, so ensure you do this now.
3. Check your downspouts
The location of your downspouts is important. If they’re too close to your home, water will seep into your foundations, causing you problems. If they’re not a few feet away from the home, arrange to have them moved so you can avoid this happening.
4. Replace and repair flashing
Flashing is what covers the ‘seams’ in your roof, such as the joins between the roof and the chimney. When they’re damaged, that’s a prime spot for water to get in. Ensure you replace any damaged flashing before the winter rain sets in.
5. Trim nearby trees
A nearby tree will cause damage during the winter if it’s not cared for. If winds are strong enough, it will pull branches off onto the roof, damaging it. Even leaves will fall into the gutter, blocking it and leading to ice dams in the winter. Stop this happening by trimming nearby branches so they’re not overhanging the roof. If the tree is too close to the house, consider having it removed.
6. Clear your gutters and downspouts
Before the winter, you need to check your gutters. Over time they’ll collect debris and become clogged up. If you clear them out now before winter, they won’t allow water to overflow onto your roof and cause more issues. Once you’ve cleared it, look at installing gutter guards to stop it happening again.
Winter rain can and will cause all kinds of problems for your roof. Damaged shingles, leaks, and water overflows are common. If you take some preventative steps now, you won’t have to worry about that water coming through and damaging your home. Follow these tips and take care of your roof now, and you’ll stop a lot of damage from ever happening.