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Winter Is Coming: Your Michigan Roof Winter Care Checklist

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Michigan winters can be unforgiving, and your home's roof is the first line of defense against the cold, snow, and ice. To make sure your roof can withstand the harsh winter, it's crucial to do fall roof maintenance and prepare your home appropriately. Staying on top of roof care and maintenance before winter rolls around not only guarantees the protection of your home against the elements but also ensures your family's safety and comfort during the cold months. 

Here’s a basic yet comprehensive checklist to help you prepare your roof for winter.

How to Prepare Your Roof for Winter Weather: A Checklist

1. Clean Your Gutters

One of the most critical fall roofing tasks is gutter maintenance. Clean gutters and downspouts are essential for proper drainage, preventing ice dams (ridges of ice that form at the edge of a roof), and ensuring that melting snow and rain can flow freely. Remove leaves, debris, and any obstructions to keep water moving away from your roof.

2. Inspect for Damaged Shingles

A thorough visual inspection of your roof is essential. Look for damaged or missing shingles, as these can lead to leaks and structural issues during winter storms. Replace any shingles that are cracked, curled, or damaged.

It is important to note, however, that if you are not trained to do this sort of repair, it is wise to consult trusted professional roofing contractors in your area who can provide free inspections and high-quality fall roof maintenance services, making sure that your roof winterization is at an optimal level.   

3. Check for Leaks

While inspecting your roof, you can also check for signs of leaks or water damage inside your home. Look for water stains on the ceiling, peeling paint, or mold growth. Address any leaks promptly to prevent further damage. 

Get in touch with trusted professional roofing experts immediately should you notice any signs of water damage or leaks. Being proactive will not only help with winter roofing but also save you money on further repairs and renovation work should the leak or water damage reach other parts of your home.

4. Trim Overhanging Branches

Overhanging branches can pose a threat to your roof during heavy snow or ice storms. Make sure to trim back any branches that might fall and damage your roof during winter.

5. Insulate Your Attic

Another essential winter roofing practice is to ensure proper attic insulation. This is vital for maintaining a consistent temperature in your home and preventing ice dams. Make sure your attic is well-insulated and ventilated to keep warm air from escaping and melting snow on your roof.

According to the EPA, proper attic insulation can even save you an average of 15% on your heating costs!

6. Seal Any Penetrations On Your Roof

Of course, another thing you have to look out for when doing fall roof maintenance is wear and tear on your roof penetrations, such as vents and chimneys. Make sure they are sealed properly to avoid any leaks and drafts come wintertime. This is another service that is best handled by a roofing professional for ultimate safety.

7. Clean Skylights and Roof Windows

If you have any skylights or roof windows, make sure they are clean and sealed correctly. If these features are left with gaps or leaks, it can lead to heat loss and water infiltration.

8. Check Flashing

Examine the flashing around your roof's protrusions and edges. Damaged or loose flashing can lead to leaks, especially during winter. Replace or repair any problematic flashing.

9. Evaluate the Eaves and Soffits

The eaves and soffits, or the parts of the roof that overhang the side of your house, play a crucial role in keeping your roof and attic well-ventilated. Make sure they are not damaged and are free from obstructions to allow proper airflow.

10. Clear the Roof of Any Debris

Much like cleaning your gutters, you should remove any debris, leaves, or branches from your roof's surface. These materials can easily trap moisture and create ice dams, leading to leaks and damage.

11. Install Snow Guards

Snow guards are devices installed on your roof to prevent large amounts of snow from sliding off suddenly. They can protect people and property below and minimize the risk of damage.

12. Clear Snow Safely

Michigan can usually depend on heavy snowfall, so you and your family should always have a plan for snow removal. Remember to always proceed with caution; snow and ice on a roof can be slippery and potentially dangerous. If you're unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it's best to hire a professional roofing contractor like Sherriff Goslin.

13. Keep Your Roof Clear of Ice Dams

It’s also very important to keep your roof clear of ice dams, the ridges of ice that usually form at the edge of a roof and keep melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. These ice dams can form along the roof's edge, preventing proper drainage and causing water to back up under shingles. To prevent these from forming, consider installing heat cables or ensure your attic is well-insulated and ventilated.

14. Inspect and Clean Chimneys and Flues

If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, make sure your chimneys are cleaned and in good working condition before winter. A blocked or malfunctioning chimney can lead to a buildup of dangerous carbon monoxide inside your home, compromising your family’s health and safety.

15. Securely Fasten Roofing Materials

High winds and heavy snow can loosen roofing materials. Make sure that all roofing elements like shingles, tiles, or metal panels are securely fastened to prevent damage to your roof.

16. Stock Up on Winter Supplies

Before winter arrives, it's a good idea to stock up on essential winter supplies, such as roof rakes, ice melt, and snow removal tools. Having these on hand can help you deal with winter roofing emergencies promptly.

Book A FREE Professional Roof Inspection With Trusted Experts

While many tasks can be completed by Michigan homeowners, it's always best to prioritize your safety and consult professional roof contractors for inspection and roof winterization. As Michigan’s top trusted roofing contractor, Sherriff Goslin not only offers high-quality roof care and maintenance but also top-tier customer service. Book a free inspection with a Sherriff Goslin branch near you.

Winterize Your Roof With Michigan’s Trusted Roofing Experts

Anytime cold weather threatens, it’s best to work with local trusted experts in cold-weather roof care. It will not only ensure optimal roof winterization but will surely give you peace of mind and comfort throughout those harsh winter months. Contact Sherriff Goslin today to schedule a free inspection with our expert team!