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How to Prepare Your Roof For Michigan Winters [Helpful Guide]

As the evening sun of late winter starts to fade, it’s time to begin the process of protecting and preparing your home for the more chillier fall and winter months, as well as know all too well in the Michigan area. There’s always lots to do at this time of the year to ensure your investment is winter-ready. 

Let’s start by getting a quick answer as to how you can prepare your roof for winter and where you can find an expert roof contractor, certainly in the Michigan area for any repairs that may be necessary. 

How can I prepare my roof for winter? In mid to late fall, ensure roof and gutters are cleared from any fallen debris such as leaves or tree limbs. Check your attic for signs of water leaking. During winter months, periodically check for ice damming. Make sure you hire an expert for all your roofing repairs before winter begins. 

Many homeowners use this time to remodel their kitchens, give their home a complete makeover in time for the holiday season. Although it’s a perfect time to get larger decorating jobs done around the house, we often forget one of the most important areas of your home is your roof. This is often overlooked and can cause some serious problems over winter if it’s not prepared correctly. 

One of the important ways you can make sure your home isn’t damaged by gales, rain, and snow, is to give some time to assess your roof and gutters so that you and loved ones will be safe and sound during the poor weather you are likely to experience during the winter.

“We often forget one of the most important areas to protect in your home is your roof”.

Now we’ve looked at the brief answer as to how you can make sure your roof is ready for the coldest months of the year, let’s take more of an in-depth look at how you can begin to give your roof some TLC and spot any important repairs that you may need.

Let’s start by looking at what you can do in order to protect your home from winter weather conditions that may cause untold damage to your property if you aren’t fully prepared. 

How to Protect Your Roof Against Winter Weather

Back in January of this year, news reports told of over 15 inches of snowfall in Michigan! So read on to find out how to make sure your roof is winter-ready. 

A large part of winter preparation is ensuring your home’s roofing system is ready for the cold. This is particularly important if you live in an area of the country that receives a substantial amount of snowfall.

Making sure you inspect, clean and prepare your roofs for the winter, will almost certainly extend the lifespan of your roof. If you have ever experienced leaks or roof damage caused by ice damming or damaged shingles, you will know by bitter experience, that these are preventable problems you can diagnose before the winter chill arrives.

“Making sure you inspect, clean and prepare your roofs for the winter, will almost certainly extend the lifespan of your roof”.

Outdoor Cleanup and Inspection 

Preparing your roof for winter begins in nice to late fall as you give all areas of your roof a thorough clean. Taking care to clear the roof of fallen tree limbs, leaves and any other debris that may have collected there during the summer. 

The best way to clean is by starting from the top of the roof and working your way down, using an ordinary broom. Always exercise extreme caution when working on the roof. If you’re not comfortable with doing it yourself, contact us to get recommendations on who to call in Michigan to clean your roof. We’ve been winterizing roofs for 30+ years.

While you’re on the roof, inspect it for any obvious damage, such as missing shingles or damaged flashing around chimneys. Minor repairs like these aren’t too difficult, but if you have limited knowledge of roof repair, it’s best to hire a local, expert roofing contractor in the Michigan area to make any simple roof fixes that may be necessary. Smaller repairs typically aren’t very expensive and it helps extend the lifespan of the roof.

Clean the gutters of leaves and other debris. It’s important to keep your gutters clean to allow water flow, which can really help reduce any build-up of ice during the long winter months.

Indoor Inspection

Once the rooftop and gutters are cleaned and inspected, the next place to concentrate your inspection is in the attic. Once you’re in the attic, make sure you fully inspect the ceiling for signs of water damage. If you find water stains, it may be a sign that your roof is poorly insulated. This can lead to the following problems if left unchecked: 

  • Heat escapes from the interior of the home much easier, causing higher energy bills and potential for ice damming.
  • Poor roofing insulation may lead to water leaks, which results in a weaker roof. 

Replacing sections of the roof insulation requires that you remove the shingles in the area of the insulation damage. Replacing roof insulation is not the kind of job you should attempt yourself, and is best left to expert roofing contractors.

One of the main reasons to hire an expert is that it’s very important the insulation is fitted correctly, to make sure any leaking, ice damming, or overly high heating bills are stopped immediately.

Check for Ice Damming 

As the winter chill creeps in, it’s very important to periodically check the roof for ice damming. Ice dams can form when heat from the inside of the house escapes through the roof, usually due to poor or weak insulation. During a thaw, the ice on the rooftop will begin to melt.

The water will then run down the roof and collects along with any obstructions, such as debris or leaves, or in the gutters.  If the water then re-freezes, it’s likely to cause an ice dam.

According to experts at weather.gov, there isn’t a guaranteed way to ensure an ice dam won’t damage your home, but you can take some important steps to reduce the chances of an ice dam forming.

The extra weight that Ice dams add to your roof can cause significant damage if snow isn’t suitably cleared from your roof area. Avoiding water or hot air to remove the snow is also recommended.

Another safe way to remove snow from the rooftop is by using calcium pellets, or magnesium pellets. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, these pellets are effective at helping to melt snow from rooftops without causing damage to asphalt shingles. However, there may be minor staining if you decide to use sodium chloride tablets, so it’s best to choose magnesium chloride or calcium pellets.

“As the winter chill creeps in, it’s very important to periodically check the roof for ice damming”.

And Finally…

The cold weather can make your roof more brittle and easier to damage, so make sure you include some care of your roof in preparation to keep your family, loved ones and your investment protected from any dangerous situations that an unprepared roof may land on your doorstep.

If you would like any advice it would like to book one of our roofing experts for any repairs, here in Michigan, make sure you get in touch and we will help you to get fully prepared with all your roofing repairs, large or small and make sure your roof health is robust enough to see you through the long winter period.