Don’t forget your roof as you prepare for the approaching winter. Each season creates a unique challenge for your roofing maintenance needs, and autumn is the perfect time to address some of those winter hazards. Winter’s unique challenge has to do with animals, trees and expansion and contraction.
Animals like to find warm places to live when it gets cold, like your attic. They will scratch, claw and tear off roofing material to get into your attic. Specifically, they like to start in a covered corner at a dormer or under an eve. Critters can pull vents off, separate metal flashing and remove shingles. Once they are through the outer layers they chew or scratch through the wood decking and you have unwanted guests for the winter.
Tree limbs that fall during the winter seem to always land with the sharp point of the branch stabbing the roof material causing a hole or deep gash. Many time owners will not notice the damage because the limb will have slipped of the roof and into the yard. Leaves that have remained on the roof from fall will become mulch by spring. As they continue to stick together, they cause a dam that restricts water from running off the roof. Steep sloped shingle roofs do not water proof your building they are water shedders. Once something causes water to stand or back up on the shingle roof, it will cause a leak. The shingles under this pile of leaves can also make your roof degrade at a quicker rate.
Extreme temperature changes comes a great deal expansion and contraction of your exterior building materials. Your roof takes the lion’s share of abuse. As the parts of your roof move back and forth they essentially destroy themselves. Nails in shingle roofs will work their way up and through the top of the shingle leaving a hole. Flat roof seams will separate from the heat and cold, but also from ice. When rain water sits on a flat roof and creeps into the smallest cracks and then freezes, major leaks can occur overnight. As the water expands while freezing into ice it splits apart the roofing sheets that only work when they are “stuck” together.
If you haven’t had your roof looked at recently, get it done before old man winter comes knocking.