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How to Prepare Your Roof for Winter: Step-by-step Guide

Winter in Colorado can be one of the most harsh seasons of the year depending on your feelings about wind, snow, and bitter cold. Some hate it, others embrace the season by taking full advantage of the number of wintertime activities associated within our region. All around Denver and the surrounding areas, individuals prepare for the upcoming winter season in a number of ways. People cut and stack firewood year-round to ensure that when the bitter cold strikes, there will be plenty of fuel for the fires to heat their homes. Trees are often cut back in the fall to keep any large branches from breaking due to the weight of snow, some change the tires on their vehicles – adding chains or moving to a more weather conducive tread, and plumbers are called into action on the regular to inspect pipes and insulation, in an effort to prevent any freezing pipes or breaks which can cause significant damage to any structure.

All of these are (many times necessary) provisions in an effort to get ready but homeowners far too often neglect one of the most important factors of their protection from the outside elements – the roof. A buildings roof is the first line of defense against any wintertime, or other time of the year, precipitation and must be prepared for not only keeping out the water but holding up to the weight of any heavy snow falls or those occurring close together. Once the snow has begun to fall and your roof is covered it’s not too late but correcting any deficiencies which are found at that time requires a considerable amount of work and the damage to the interior of a home has already started. By checking your roof before the calendar shifts into a full blown winter season, then corrections can be made and you can rest easy knowing your home is well protected and ready to handle Mother Nature and whatever she has in store.

In order to do so, there are a number of specific checks that need to be administered to any roof that may be subject to heavy snow, winds, ice, or extreme cold temperatures and a professional inspection is the correct way to ensure you will be protected.

Full Inspection

First, a full inspection of the roof structure and components needs to be completed. While some of the checkpoints can be viewed from the ground, a full inspection requires individuals to actually get on top of their roof and inspect the make up from a different angle. Far too many people will simply do their own self inspection from the ground and may not notice a missing piece of flashing, shingle, or other piece that could potentially lead to a negative situation once winter arrives.

While obvious repairs may be noticeable from the ground, these other minor instances require someone to ascend the home and take a first-hand look at the structural components to guarantee that any deficiencies are noted and fixed appropriately.

This full inspection includes each of the following highlights in addition to a handful of other smaller areas and details which will be reviewed and checked as part of the overall complete inspection from our professionals.

Waterproof Check

Ensuring your roof is waterproof is critically important to protecting your home. There are many different types of roof damage and shingle damage which will be noticeable once on top of a structure that may not be as easily discovered from the ground. These need to be corrected in addition to providing a waterproof seal over all areas of the structure.

Many roofs are designed to allow water flow and ice melt off the structure but any flat roofs especially, need to receive added attention to their waterproofing as the snow and ice can be around for significantly longer periods of time. The best way to waterproof a flat roof first involves cleaning the surface, which cannot be completed once it is too late and the snow has already begun to fall. In areas where water runoff cannot occur, a waterproofing method is ideal.

Gutter Check

Where water can run off a roof it needs to be collected by a properly installed and functioning gutter system. To help ensure that your roof is protective and ready for the winter months, a complete gutter check will be administered as part of the overall inspection process. Should any clogs or debris be found inside, which would prevent water flow once the ice and snow begins to melt, then they will be removed.

The gutter check also consists of ensuring all of the downspouts are free and clear of any blockage. An improperly functioning gutter system can create issues of their own including, flooding. Basement flooding can be created when these downspouts do not function correctly and all of the runoff soaks in around a home’s foundation instead of traveling out the gutter, downspout and then draining away from the home.

Flashing Check

Finally, the flashing material used around any cutouts or openings on a roof need to be given special consideration as well. These potentially dangerous access points for water, snow, and ice need to be replaced if damaged and inspected to make certain they are functioning properly. A key component of roofing, the flashing helps protect the mesh points between such items as chimneys, skylights, and where any headwalls and sidewalls connect.

With over a decade of experience and quality service within Denver and the surrounding area, Arvada Roofing and Construction has been completing roof construction, repair, and multiple other roof, siding, or gutter associated services for nearly two decades. Their highly trained experts can provide an estimate on a repair project, which will never include an overlay, if needed as well as any inspection you wish to have completed. Should you find yourself in a situation where you are weighing options between a brand new roof installation or potentially only replacing or patching an area of the current structure, we are here to help. Our certified and extremely knowledgeable staff is available to handle any roofing job and provide a variety of other services such as seamless guttering systems, or any potential damage analysis thought to be caused by severe weather for the purposes of insurance reporting. Contact us today online or call 303-432-2753 for your free estimate on any of the above mentioned projects!

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