05 Oct Preparing Your Roof For Fall and Winter
It’s officially October which means it’s officially fall! While warm cider and late nights around the campfire might be at the top of your mind, it’s also time to start thinking about winter and what that means for your roof. Regardless of what type of roof you have, autumn is arguably the most important time to inspect your roof, perform maintenance checks, and make sure every part of your roof is in good shape for standing up to winter weather.
The Follies of Fall
Falling leaves aren’t the only thing you have to worry about when assessing your roof for winter readiness. Strong winds can blow large branches and debris into gutters, drains, and other important parts of your roofing system. As you check your roof, be sure to clear out this debris and make sure water can drain off of your roof to avoid water damage and leakage. Also, keep an eye out for loose or missing shingles, faulty flashing, or a compromised roof membrane. To prep for fall weather and the coming winter, repair these things before this winter to keep your roof performing at its best all winter long.
Take A Closer Look
First and foremost, schedule an inspection. Especially when it comes to commercial roofing, unless you are a roof expert, you might miss damage that will cost a lot in repairs down the road. Preventative care is much less expensive than reactive care. When you catch issues before they become structural damage, you save yourself a lot of money and stress. Another reason to get an inspection is to protect yourself if you do have to file an insurance claim due to weather damage. With a full inspection in the files before severe weather, giving your roof the all clear, you can easily file your claim and prove the roof was in good condition before the weather event. Before you let an inspector up on your roof, be sure to fully vet the roofing professional and make sure you hire someone you can trust to do a full and extensive inspection. If you have any questions about what a full inspection should look like, give us a call and we can help you identify what is best for you and your roof.
Take Action Yearly
Step two is a little yearly maintenance. Think about all the water your roof manages through the year. Fall rains, winter snow, then extreme winter snow storm, ice, sleet, and the list goes on. Your roof is the only line of defense between the people or things inside of your building and damaging water. To make sure the water has a way off of your roof, clear out all debris from drains and gutters. This might need to be done more than once during the fall season before winter comes. When all of the leaves are off the trees, take another look and be sure everything is clear and clean. Branches pose a bigger threat to your roof. Sharp, ragged edges can potentially puncture the membrane of the roof, sometimes creating a hole difficult to see with the naked eye. Protect your roof investment and take a little time to clear out drains and keep the system running smoothly.
Take Care of Trees
Do you have a beautiful, large oak tree outside of your commercial building? It looks great during the spring and fall, but stay diligent in thinking ahead of damage it could cause to your roof. Consider trimming back weak branches to limit the chance of branches breaking off in strong winds and landing on your roof. Consider the strength of the tree and make sure it is healthy, strong, and does not pose a threat to your roof. The weight of a tree on a roof is sure to cause significant damage. Stay aware of the trees, power lines, and other tall structures around your roof and keep these in mind when strong winds kick up.
Prep Your Plan
This leads us to our final tip about preparing your roof for fall and winter; create a plan. You’re not likely going to be able to move a tree or powerline near your roof, so you need to create a plan to follow if something does happen to your roofing system. Mother nature is unpredictable, and some things are simply out of your control. You probably have a series of plans for your family and home in case of an emergency (and if you don’t, you should!), you should also have a plan of action for your roof. Compile your insurance information, purchase tarps and any equipment you would need to protect your roof if the structure is damaged. Even consider setting money aside each month in case of an emergency.
With your roof covered and prepared for winter, go out and enjoy the changing leaves with your family and friends. Remember, proactive care is much less expensive than reactive care, and you’ll sleep much easier at night knowing you have done all you can to prepare your roof. Your inspection has been done, so in case of damage, you have documentation your roof was in good working order before the event took place. And finally, you have a plan and everything you need ready to go at your disposal if something does happen. Enjoy this fall and winter and if you need any help getting started with an inspection, we’re happy to help you cross one more item off of your winter preparation checklist!