If you own a house and live in the Northern hemisphere you will be acutely aware of cold wet Winters. You may take vacations to escape Winter. Moreover you may be in the habit of preparing the roof for Winter to protect your home. If not, then read on. Here are some great ideas for how to prepare your house and roof ahead of a Winter vacation.
Preparing the roof for Winter – Ahead of a vacation
The image of Winter is often romanticized in TV and film. Yet the reality can be more biting. Sometimes warm fuzzy socks and hot drinks by the fire just aren’t enough to keep out the cold. It is no surprise therefore, that some homeowners opt for Winter vacations. Many snowbirds spend their Winter break in warmer climates away from the cold and wet.
If you’re travelling away from home in Winter for the first time, take note that looking for a house sitter is not the only preparation you need to do. In the Northern hemisphere especially you need to prepare your home for Winter, to avoid coming home to an damaged property. Winterproofing your roof is your house’s best protection against snow damage.
Notes on preparing the roof
So, how exactly can a homeowner prepare their house for winter before escaping to someplace sunnier? The answer is by doing the following:
Clear any and all debris from the roof and gutters
The thing about roofs is that they are already ingeniously designed to keep water out of your home. This includes melting snow. All you have to do is to ensure that the flow of water is unrestricted.
In this case preparing the roof means clearing your roof and gutters of debris that might cause the flow of water to hit a snag. Any such obstacles could make your roof vulnerable to severe water damage. Hopefully, you’ve been cleaning your roof and gutters regularly, which means there wouldn’t be much build up of debris. If this is the case it might be your custom to do the cleaning on your own.
However, if you’ve neglected your roof during the months when the weather was good, you might need a professional. They’ll undertake the power washing and deep cleaning of the entire roof to keep your home safe in Winter.
Closely scan for leaks
Another priority before the first snowfall is to ensure that the roof is not leaking. Even the tiniest of leaks can cause major heat loss and may facilitate the forming of ice dams. Ice dams are damaging, They could tear through the entire roof, proving disastrous for your home, any resident house sitter and even your pets.
Have broken shingles replaced
Most roofs rely on the sturdiness of shingles to protect the entire property. The material underneath may already be thin enough to let the water through, especially on heavy rain or snow days. So it is essential to make sure that your roof is not missing any shingles that may have fallen, broken off, or gone missing. Heavy rainfall or snow will expose the areas of broken shingles and tiles fairly quickly in wet weather.
If you notice that the roof is missing more than a handful of shingles, then you really need to take action quickly. You need to assess the damage, and consider getting a roof replacement. There really comes a point in a homeowner’s life when he/she has to admit that getting fresh shingles to replace broken and missing ones is not enough. The entire roofing may need a fresh start. There’s no better time to get this done than before the Winter season. Trust that you don’t want your roof to give way when it’s already snowing. Prevention is always, always better than the cure.
Trim nearby trees
Preparing the roof can take several forms. After getting your roof redone or clearing debris, the next thing to do is to clear the area of anything that might add stress on your roof.
This entails trimming nearby trees to make sure that no overlapping twigs or branches are likely to fall onto your roof. This happens frequently with overhanging trees if they can no longer handle the weight of the snow fall.
Don’t let too much snow pile on the roof
Preparing the roof for Winter gives peace of mind
Knowing just how much snow your roof can withhold requires a lot of research and possible consultations with professional inspectors. Once you know the limits of your roof, the sole goal is to not let any more snow than that sit atop your roof. No matter how beautiful a roof covered with snow might look in photographs or on postcards avoid the risk. The costs of a roof failure in Winter can be dramatic.
Since you’re going away for vacation, you might find the best way for you to prepare is to find someone else to do the snow clearing for you.
Once you’ve completed preparing the roof, you can go away with confidence knowing your property will be weather proof this Winter season. Then you can fully enjoy your vacation without worrying too much about the weather at home.