Winterizing the Roof Checklist

Oct 2, 2020Education

With winter soon approaching us, it is important to understand how snow and ice can affect your home. Any good home winterization plan should include the roofing system. We at Integrity Roofing have carefully cultivated a list of helpful tips to assist you in protecting your home as best as possible in these upcoming chilly days. 

  1. Check Flashings

Roof Leaks can be obvious to the untrained eye, give your flashings a look. If there appears to be an area of water entry, around sections where the roof meets the wall, around skylights and vent penetrations, it’s better to be ahead of the upcoming rain and ask a professional to give a free estimate on your roof. In North kitsap, Poulsbo & Bainbridge Island, waterfront homes in high wind can push rain driven rain into flashings and create leaks. 

  1. Pipe Boots:

After a hot summer, Improperly fitted neoprene pipe boots can crack due to heat. Make sure to give them a quick check and replace them if they have been installed incorrectly.  

  1. Cutback Tree Limbs

Dead or broken tree limbs aren’t the only concern you should have. Even healthy tree limbs can land right onto your roof in high winds or under the weight of snow and ice. It is vital to cut back any tree limbs that pose a threat to your roofing system. This can possibly save you money and an emergency repair as well as prevent water damage to your home.

  1. Roof and Gutter Cleaning

Algae grows on your roof under downspouts. If you have any downspouts that pour water onto your roof decks from a second story, contact a gutter company to extend the downspout; don’t consolidate water onto your roof. 

Clogged, damaged and rusty gutters allow for water to penetrate your home, leading to damage of your home’s fascia, roofing and foundation. If you have any damaged sections, be sure to repair them and keep them clean before the start of the winter season.

  1. Make Repairs

Weak spots in your roofing system, whether they are visible or not will undoubtedly be exploited by the elements. Repair any loose, damaged shingles and make sure to replace any that are missing.

Winter House - Climate Solutions
  1. Insulation , Ventilation & attic checks at Christmas

The correct insulation and ventilation in your attic or vaulted ceilings will allow your home to stay warm, maintain lumber health, disallow mildew growth and preserve shingle roof lifespan. 

This Christmas when you go into your attic for christmas decor, do a quick quality control check of the following items: 

  1. Walk above your bathroom and make sure your fan exhaust hose is connected to the roof vent
  2. Make sure your bird blocks are not clogged by insulation, if they are buy rafter baffles and reestablish airflow
  3. Check your insulation thickness: Washington is in Zone 4 and at a minimum R38 is required approximately 14.5” 

Ice DamsIce Dams – Several quick fixes but only one cure. | Home Partners -  Painting and Carpentry - Upper Valley NH and VT

Although a more common occurrence in the midwest, an ice dam is a  layer of ice that forms at the edge of a roof. Water from melting snow can get wind blown, back up behind the shingles, re-freeze and create an ice dam and leak into your home or create soffit rot. 

Winter Weight

Multiple storms can occur in a single winter season, leaving behind a mix of snow and ice piled on your roof. What can you do to determine when the weight on your roof has reached dangerous levels?

In the chart below, safe and unsafe weight levels are simply explained:

How Much Snow is Too Much? This chart shows the amount of snow and ice that equals 5 lbs. per square foot. Your roof should be able to support 20 lbs. per sure foot of roof space. Fresh snow: 10 to 12 inches. Packed snow: 3 to 5 inches. Ice: 1 inch.