November 1, 2021

How To Prepare Your Roof For Winter

Winters in Calgary can be pretty harsh. Your roof is protecting you from the elements - the cold, the snow, and the wind. And to paraphrase an American president, it’s time to stop asking what your roof can do for you - and start asking what you can do for your roof.   Seriously. The better you take care of your roof, the better your roof can take care of you. Let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take to prepare your roof for winter so that your home stays safe and warm all through the harshest season.  

Get a roof inspection

Fall and spring are the two best times to get roof inspections because they help to ensure that your roof can make it through the winter, and to make certain that any damage that happened over the winter is repaired as soon as possible.   Your inspector will check a lot of things - the flashing, valleys, roofing materials, and structural integrity of your roof. They’ll look for signs of animal infestation, water damage, and more. The winter is basically the worst time for a damaged or weak roof, so an inspection is a must.   The inspector will look inside and outside your home for damage - most water damage, for example, is more visible from inside the attic than from on top of the roof.  

Clean your roof and gutters

Clogged gutters can lead to serious roof damage. You see, when gutters get clogged, water has nowhere to go. And in the winter, when water stagnates, it’s more likely to freeze. That ice, along with the leaves and other debris in your gutter, will begin to weigh your gutter down. Eventually, it can break off - and take a piece of your roof with it.   That’s why it’s so important to clean your gutters. You should clear any debris off of your roof too, as it can slide down into your gutters and contribute to clogging.  

Inspect your insulation - and consider re-insulating

Some of you may be wondering how water is ending up in your gutters in the winter in the first place - shouldn’t you only be getting snow?    This is Calgary, after all, so we can expect a few days of melt between the days of snow. Nonetheless, the sun isn’t the only source of heat that can cause snow to melt and then freeze into ice. Your home can melt snow, too.   When your attic isn’t properly insulated, heat will rise to your roof and melt the snow. When the resulting water cascades down your roof, it moves away from the warmer temperatures and freezes again, causing ice dams.   A quick inspection will tell you how well insulated your attic and roof are. Getting new insulation takes time and money, of course, but by insulating you can reduce your energy bills and quickly recoup the money you spent.   

Get your roof repaired

We saved the most obvious tip for last, but it may also be the most important one - if there’s any damage to the materials on your roof, or deeper structural damage, you need to get your roof repaired.   You don’t want cold and snow infiltrating through your roof this winter. One tip we do have, however, is to use two different companies for roof inspections and roof repair. That way, there will be no conflict of interest.   Here at Martens Contracting, we’ve been serving Calgary homeowners for decades. We’ll be more than happy to help you get your roof ready for winter, so you can stay safe and comfortable all season long. We’ve got more info here - check out our website, read our blog posts for more tips, and give us a call! 

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