Many homeowners encounter a variety of roof problems during the winter, including the formation of ice dams, condensation and damage to structures such as shingles and flashings. Typically, fall is the time to prepare your roof for winter, but if you’re facing issues now don’t despair – certain roofing repairs need to be handled as soon as possible, even if they occur in the winter.
Whether you’re behind on maintenance or your roof developed a leak, we have tips to get you through winter months without a hitch.
Winter Roofing: Maintenance & Repairs You Can Do Now
1. Winter roof maintenance
Inspect the roof and gutters for damage and any signs of ice dams and icicles forming – especially after a windstorm, snowstorm or particularly cold streak. If too much ice builds up, gutters can become too heavy and rip away from the home, leaving you with damage and hefty gutter repair bills.
Additionally, clogged gutters and downspouts can’t channel water and snowmelt away from your home which can lead to serious damage. Ensure your downspouts and fascia are not clogged by ice, snow or other debris such as stray branches or dead leaves. Remove excess snow buildups with a roof rake, and use a hammer and chisel to carefully chip away the ice if you need to.
2. Flashing and chimney repairs
Many roof leaks occur in places where the roof meets up with the home’s siding, chimneys or skylights. Inspect these connection points – check the flashings for holes, cracks, or other signs of damage or deterioration. This is critical – if chimney flashing pulls away or is damaged by wind or hail, water may leak into your attic and your home’s interior.
Your roofing contractor is likely to be able to handle any repairs of this kind, paying close attention to temperatures so that the adhesives used in repairs do not freeze. Luckily, many Pennsylvania and Delaware winters feature a number of days above freezing temperatures that are conducive to roof work.
3. Shingle repairs
If you have damaged roof shingles, it’s essential that you repair the problem promptly. Otherwise, you could end up with a leaky roof and, potentially, serious structural damage to your home’s roof, attic and frame. Shingles that are nailed down or use other types of metal fasteners can be repaired and replaced at any point in the year. Extra care is needed, however, to prevent cracking or breaking already-fragile roofing materials. An experienced roofing contractor will have no problem with this task.
4. Gutter repairs
Gutters play a huge role in keeping your roof dry and clear during the wet winter months. Gutters that are broken, run-down or blocked can cause water damage to both the roof and interior of your home. As long as the day is dry, gutters can be repaired and installed just as effectively during winter as in the warmer seasons. Leaks that develop at aging seams may be repaired with silicone sealant. Small holes can be patched with roofing cement, applied with a putty knife. Larger issues may require replacing the leaky section altogether.
5. Roof replacement
Despite a handful of obstacles, many types of roofs, including metal, wood and shingled, can be replaced regardless of the season. With certain precautions the installation can be done without a hitch. Keep in mind that shingles will be less flexible, harder to cut, and more likely to be overdriven by nails. They may also need to be hand-sealed with roofing cement to prevent the wind from lifting them before there is sufficient heat for them to self-seal.
Flat roofs, especially those made of rubber, however, have to wait until spring. The reason for this is the adhesives used in flat roofing are temperature-dependent. A roof laid during a streak of sub-40-degree weather will not be laid correctly due to problems with the adhesive.
Don’t Postpone Your Repairs Till Spring!
If you’re looking for a contractor with shingle roofing expertise, consider All Roofing Solutions, a family owned & operated Wilmington DE roofing contractor with 20 years of experience. We are fully licensed and insured to do roofing & siding work in Delaware!
Call our DE office at 302-725-ROOF (7663) or our PA location at 610-551-ROOF (7663) for a free price quote or to schedule a roof inspection.
Don’t forget to ask about our discount of 15% off any roof repair job!!!