Now that the temperatures are dropping and the leaves are changing color, it’s time to prepare for winter. To prepare for a cold season, you can:

  1. Switch out your bathing suits, shorts, and t-shirts for sweaters and warm layers. 
  2. Put away the sandals and pull out the snow boots. 
  3. Make sure your snow blower and snow shovels are in good shape and easily accessible. 
  4. Check the batteries on your carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors. 
  5. Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
  6. Wrap exposed pipes. 
  7. Service your hot water heater.
  8. Service your heating system. 
  9. Take your car in for a tune-up. 
  10. Prepare your roof for winter. 

Many of these tasks are relatively straightforward. However, you are not alone if you are wondering how to prepare your roof for winter. This guide explains several key winter roof preparation ideas and tips. 

Before we get to the winter roof preparation tips, let’s talk about why it is important to prepare your roof for winter. Your roof protects your family and possessions and keeps you warm and dry. Furthermore, your roof protects the structural elements of your house. When you take good care of your roof, you are also maintaining the rafters, beams, walls, and foundation of your home. Preparing your roof for winter is just as important as preventative doctor visits. So, let’s begin.  

Scan the Roofline

The first thing you need to do is look at the roof. Study the roofline and slopes from multiple angles. Check to see if all the lines are straight. A dipping, curving, or sagging roofline needs to be investigated. While it may not be cause for immediate concern, it may indicate a framing issue or a degraded roof deck. If you notice any curvature in your roofline, call a professional and schedule an inspection. 

Inspect the Flashing

Flashing is the metal strips that seal intersecting parts of your roof. For example, flashing is commonly found around chimneys. When inspecting the flashing, you need to ensure the seal is tight and sound. Look for signs that the flashing is loose or damaged. Check the caulk and make sure it is in good shape. Leaks are common with flashing and often mistaken for more structural roof leaks. Thankfully flashing is reasonably easy to repair. 

Check the Attic

The next place to assess is your attic. As the space is immediately under the roof, the attic reveals many clues about the structural integrity of your roof. If you have a roof leak, the first place you will notice it is in the attic. Look for wet spots and water stains on walls, furniture, and floors. If you see any signs of water damage, call a professional and schedule an inspection. 

Inspect and Trim Trees

The next step is to look above your roof and around your house. Assess the trees for damage and decay. Look at the tree trunks and limbs. If you see a dying tree or branch, take note. Also, take a look at any branches directly above your roof. Low-hanging branches are a risk in the winter. They collect snow and ice during storms. Excessive accumulation can stress the branches enough that they snap and fall on your roof. If you remove low-hanging branches, and dead trunks and limbs, you can avoid tree-related damage to your roof all winter long. It’s a good idea to hire a professional to assist in inspecting the trees and making any necessary cuts. It can be hard to identify dying tree branches, and it takes special equipment and experience to safely cut down trees and tree branches, especially when they are above your house. 

Clear Away Debris

After you trim your trees, it is time to clear away twigs, leaves, and other debris that may have accumulated on your roof. It is natural to think these things will just fall off on their own over time, but that is not necessarily the case. In fact, leaves, twigs, and debris can get stuck on the roof. When it rains and snows, the piles absorb water that can potentially damage your roof. To avoid this headache, remove debris from your roof by hand or with a leaf blower. 

Clean the Gutters

The gutters are responsible for draining the snow and rainwater off your roof and away from your house. They also do a decent job of catching all of the sticks, leaves, and debris that fall onto your roof. If the debris builds up, water will not be able to flow down the drainpipe. Instead, the water might be forced to pool up or escape along routes that lead to property damage over time. Take the time to clean out the gutters now, and you will thank yourself later. 

Get Your Roof Inspected by a Professional

If you have any concerns about your roof or want to be extra cautious, schedule a professional roof inspection. An annual professional roof inspection can save you money and prevent disasters. Most professional roof inspections are free, will allow you to catch issues early on, and will make any potential insurance claims easier down the road. 

Handle Repairs

If your roof needs repairs, it is best to handle them as soon as possible. Small issues can quickly become more costly, serious, and time-consuming to resolve. If you are handy, you may be able to handle some repairs on your own. However, maneuvering on a roof can be a risky activity. Working with a professional who can safely and effectively fix your roof is ideal. 

Remodel if Necessary 

If roof issues plague you, you may need to remodel. Elevation, exposure, and inclement weather can take a toll on roofs, particularly if they have design flaws. To withstand the elements and last as long as possible, roofs need to meet several crucial design considerations. The slope of the roof needs to allow water and snow to run off adequately. The roof needs sturdy, well-built rafters. Finally, the roof itself needs to be made of quality materials. 

For more than 75 years, Onduline has supplied lightweight roofing materials worldwide. For more roofing inspiration, materials, and resources, visit Onduline today.