New roofs can withstand most of what our Canadian climate throws at us. From severe winds to hailstorms to blizzards—the roof will endure season after season. That said, to keep your roof strong and preserve its warranty, you must do a little preparation for the snow and ice.
All roofing contractors agree that roofs need annual inspections (at the very least). The fall is a good time to schedule one because it allows you to repair minor problems before the harsh winter weather commences. This includes loose, missing and damaged shingles or flashing around your roof’s various projections.
Winter Roof Recommendations
To winterize a roof, most contractors will recommend the following courses of action.
- Insulate the attic: Add insulation to your attic to conserve heat generated inside the home and regulate the temperature of your roof. Without the proper insulation, the snow and ice on the roof may melt at different speeds, leading to ice dams and excess weight.
- Clear debris: Remove all leaves, needles and other organic materials from the roof and gutters. Debris will block the flow of water, which can lead to ice dams, mold and rot. You should also spray the eaves with a hose, measuring the flow of water through the downspouts to ensure there are no blockages.
- Install leaf guards: Put leaf guards on the gutters to prevent debris from piling up in the fall. As well, add spout extensions to divert the flow of water further from the home.
- Inspect the ceilings and walls: Inside the attic and crawlspace and along the top floor of the home, look for signs of leaking. It’s best to do this during or after a rainstorm.