Prepare Your Roof for Winter

October was a record-breaking month for the amount of rainfall in the Lower Mainland. And it’s still fall! Now is the time to prepare your roof for winter. Here are some tips for how to get your roofing system fighting ready for the arrival of some real stormy weather.

Inspect the Gutters

Because the roof is made of roofing tiles or shingles (many small components) leaks can take time to form and even longer to be discovered. Gutters protect a roofing system from water damage by channeling water off the roof. They can’t do their job when gutter sections are filled with debris. If you haven’t yet cleaned the gutters this autumn, make it a priority. If you have, it’s still a good idea to inspect gutters for dents, debris build-up or loosened fasteners.

Inspect the Roof

Roofing professionals advise homeowners to stay off the roof. Instead, start with binoculars, either standing on a ladder or from the ground. Look for:

  • shingles with cracks or curled edges or roofing tiles not properly attached that can be loosened by the wind, allowing water to seep in
  • flashings (metal sheets placed around pipes, vents, chimneys, etc.) with rust streaks, gaps and warping
  • other indicators of deterioration such as stained roofing tiles/shingles, sagging sections or areas that appear “soft”
  • debris build-up in valleys, around flashings and against chimneys and other roof protrusions

Inspect the Soffit and Fascia

It’s easy to forget that soffit panels and fascia boards are parts of a roof. Soffit is an exterior finishing detail that closes off the exposed underside of the eaves or other types of roofline projections. Fascia typically covers the ends of the rafters and other structural features of the roof that would otherwise be open to the elements. Soffit and fascia should not be rotted (specifically wood), cracked, warped or displaying other signs of damage.

Take Action

Once you’ve identified problem areas, make repairs as soon as you can. If everything looks okay to you but you’re not sure, or if you’ve experienced roof issues in the past, call a roofing pro. Most roofing contractors give free estimates; they might find something you didn’t.