A few years ago, I completed a ski tour of the Haute Route. Basically, I put my skis on in Chamonix France then walked and skied for five days to Zermatt Switzerland. The views were spectacular and the risks were significant, staying away from cliffs and crevasse are definitely top tips. By preparing in advance physically and mentally I arrived safely at my destination.
The view from your roof may not be as spectacular or risky as skiing the Alps, however the risks are significant if your roof is not prepared for winter. Finding a leak during the spring thaw from that branch that fell during winter could turn your stairs into a water slide for the kids.
Just as preparing for the Alps was important, preparing your roof for winter will provide peace of mind come summer thaw. This weekend take a few extra minutes to prepare your roof for winter: (thank you to Consumer Reports)
- Trim trees and remove dead branches so they won’t damage your roof if they fall because of wind, ice, or snow.
- Clear gutters and down-spouts of debris. Make sure the leaves are not building up in the gutters it will create a potential spot for ice to thaw, refreeze then expand and damage the gutter.
- Check for roof damage, look for surface bubbles and areas with missing gravel on flat roofs, or missing or damaged shingles or tiles on sloped roofs.
- If required, add extra insulation in the attic to guard against ice dams. When too much heat escapes, it can melt the ice and snow on the roof. When it refreezes, it can cause an ice dam, causing water to back up into your home.
- Check the flashing (that the stuff found on corners/edges) on the roof to make sure it’s in good condition to help prevent water penetration.
- If your roof needs replacing, consider impact-resistant roofing materials, especially if you live in a hail-prone area.
Enjoy some time on your roof this weekend, or go for a ski in the Alps.