Although Mississippi winters aren’t as harsh as those of some of our northern neighbours, there is still a lot you can do to protect your roofing system from the cold and rain and keep it warm inside when the temperatures dip.
Below are a few items to check off your to-do list before winter arrives:
Clean Your Roof
As well as keeping your gutters clean, make sure that leaves, branches, pine needles, and other debris are kept off of your roof. Whether small or large, debris can damage your roof system over time as they rot and mould.
To clear debris from your rooftop, use a broom, blower, or rake (never a rake) if you feel comfortable climbing up. Water damage is most likely to occur in valleys; make sure they are free of debris and you can allow water to flow.
It is recommended that you have your roof professionally treated and cleaned if it has that common blackish-coloured alga covering it. As EPA-approved algaecide/fungicidal specifically developed and approved for use on roofs, we recommend Roof-A-Cide®.
Check Your Roof For Damage And Deterioration
Once the roof has been cleaned and debris has been removed, examine the entire surface and all parts carefully. This is also the best vantage point for spotting potential problems if you feel comfortable working on your roof. You can still inspect your rooftop from the ground if you are uncomfortable working on your rooftop.
You will want to pay close attention to:
- Fix any loose, damaged, or missing shingles and make sure they are replaced or repaired.
- Ensure that your chimney, vent pipes, skylights, and any other roof projections have strong flashing to ensure rain and moisture do not enter your home.
- It may be time to replace your roof if it has been over 15 years old. It can be expensive to replace a roof but replacing the roof after a leak causes substantial damage can be much more expensive.
Clean Your Gutters
Leaf debris and fallen leaves accumulate in gutters over time. You will have a problem with your downspouts clogging if you don’t remove the debris periodically. This will cause them to overflow and may result in the roof, siding, and trim damage. It could also cause your gutters to rip apart, or collapse altogether, due to the extra weight of the wet leaves and water.
Your rooftop may be a good place to work if:
- Rinse out your gutters and flush your downspouts with a hose; if something persists, use a broom handle or chimney brush to push it through. Afterwards, clean the debris you removed from the gutters and downspouts to prevent it from collecting at the end.
- Make sure your gutters have leaf guards to prevent falling debris.
- Your downspouts should have extensions to keep water flowing farther away from the foundation of your home.
Attic Insulation, Ventilation And Waterproofing
Shingles, flashings, and tar aren’t enough to provide a high-performing roof. If you do not have proper airflow and insulation in your attic, you are more likely to experience excessive energy bills and premature ageing of your roof.
You should pay attention to the following things in your attic:
- Make sure your insulation is in good condition. If there are worn or disturbed areas, note whether the volume and height of the illustration are uniforms.
- If necessary, add additional insulation to your attic, or hire a professional to do so.
- Inspect all attic vents and fans to ensure they work properly. Be on the lookout for signs of animal activity, as squirrels and other small animals may use a poorly installed vent to nest in your attic.
- Make sure there aren’t any stains, leaks, or condensation in the attic, crawlspace, or upstairs ceiling. A roof with such damages may show signs of under-roofing damage (usually plywood sheets onto which shingles are nailed) or damaged insulation.
- Any suspicious areas you see should be noted and double-checked immediately after a rainstorm if there is anything suspicious. A leak may be present if you notice any dampness or if the appearance has changed.
- Make sure an energy auditor or weatherization contractor inspects your house and makes or recommends changes.
The roof is the first line of defence against nature’s harshest elements. Your home may suffer damage from hidden problems for quite some time before they are discovered and fixed. You can protect your property by staying one step ahead by taking preventative measures.