The effect weather has on your roof
Protecting us from the power of nature
Your home is the last line of defense
The only thing standing between us and the elements is the house that you live in. This can be quite scary if you really consider the implications there. We all know that taking care of home improvement projects can seem like a never ending task. So where to begin? Well from the top down of course! Think of the roof like the head of a body, it is in charge of all the major functions you need to protect your property. It is the closest part of your house to the sky and therefore takes the harshest punishment from the weather. Heavy snow, ice, rain, and other wet weather all need to be kept outside of your house but they take a heavy toll on that poor old roof over your head!
Praying to the weather Gods will only get you so far
Practical advise to help preserve your roof
Now keep in mind all this information is provided assuming you had a quality roof installed in the first place. Trust me when I say more often then not this is simply not the case. The majority of roofing contractors simply install the cheapest and easiest roofing system available then run off with all the profit that they can. This is because they have no intention of staying in business long. They may not be licensed or insured and simply change the companies name when the problems and complaints start to pile up. to make this point short and to the point the first thing you can to in order to properly maintain your roof is to hire a professional roofing contractor in the first place!
Dangerous and not much fun but so, so important
Get rid of all that heavy snow ASAP
Once the snow has piled up past a half-foot or so you are risking potential damages to your roof. It is obviously best if you are capable of getting up there and actually shoveling the snow off the entire roof. However, there are tools for the less coordinated or adventurous such as the roof rake that allow you to accomplish similar results from the ground. This simple tool can be purchased at your local Lowe's or Home Depot and is telescoping so that you can get that extra reach without over extending yourself. If you are a hard core do it yourself type person check out this article on how to make one yourself and save a little money. The DIY Snow Ripper Can Eliminate Snow From Your Roof in Minutes
Properly installed this can be a life saver
Heat Tape for heavy traffic, problematic areas
A solution that should be utilized for any pesky or hard to reach areas that are a constant pain in the winter times. There are just some areas that you cant get to in order to clean them off or that seem to collect a ton of ice regardless of what you do. Heat tape will help to melt the snow and ice in these areas but make sure it is installed in such a manner that it will work with gravity. Some people have had great success running it throughout the gutters system as this is usually the first place to freeze up when it gets cold. The last thing you want to do is to install it somewhere in which it will just melt the ice and then the water just sits there with no where to go. Well i shouldn't say it has no where to go because it will find its way right into your house somehow or another. There are heat tapes available at your local hardware store for common problems and then there are commercial heat tapes that require a electrician to install. Analyze the situation and determine how sever of a problem you have before making a purchase.
Proper air flow will do wonders
With enough ventilation most of your problems should solve themselves
Most people do not understand how important ventilation is when it comes to roofing. You want the temperature in your attic to match that outside and the only way to ensure this is with the proper installation of intake and output vents. With the temperatures closely matched you minimize the condensation and thus likelihood of the roof wood rotting or growing mold. When a roof is well ventilated rarely will you see any major issues with ice damning except in low slope areas. A commonly overlooked mistake is when the bathroom or dryer vents are dumping right into the attic. These needs to be properly vented using a roof jack so that they do not cause unwanted temperature fluctuations excess moisture from getting in your attic.
Animals love to find soft spots so they can make their new homes in your roof
If you suspect any rotten wood up there it is best to replace it sooner then later
The smallest of leaks can cause moisture to rot away that wood quicker then you would ever believe. As cute as they may seem you really do not want to deal with any animals taking up residence in your residence. Animals such as squirrels and birds will literally spend an entire day searching for that one soft spot that they can continue to chew until a hole straight into the attic has been formed. Once inside getting them out can be tougher then evicting dead beat tenants from a rental property. So if you have any concern about questionable looking wood on or around your roof call a professional out as soon as possible because it is better to be safe then sorry. Wood replacement is not all that expensive and will save you a fortune in the long run by preventing the need for some major repairs.
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