Is Your Roof Ready for Winter? Add These 3 Tasks to Your Fall Checklist

Sep 22, 2016

Can you feel it yet? The sudden downturn in temperature. The slight chill in the air. The brisk breeze that leaves you reaching for your coat or looking for your scarf.

Fall in Cincinnati is on its way, so you can finally start on your autumn maintenance checklist. You have filters to replace, walks and driveways to sweep, and weather stripping to install. You also need to clean your chimney, drain and turn off your sprinkler system, and caulk the windows. Additionally, you should reverse your ceiling fan, cover your air conditioner, and stow your yard equipment.

With so many things you need to do and finish, a few items on your to-do list may fall to the wayside. As you prepare your home for winter, however, don’t forget to perform the following tasks for your roof.

1. Trim the Trees

Although Ohio might not have breathtaking mountains or sugar-white beaches, you can count on Mother Nature to provide stunning fall foliage year after year. A quick drive through the Ohio River Scenic Byway will let you view colorful rolling hills and fields, and a short hike to Mt. Airy Forest will give you a phenomenal view of over 1,500 acres of golden forests.

The trees in your own backyard, too, may put on a show for you and your family. As the temperatures drop from a cozy 80 degrees to a frigid 40, you may see the leaves change gradually from deep green to eyecatching red, orange, or yellow.

But though your trees look lovely, the leaves may clog your gutters, increasing the likelihood of leaks during stormy weather. Any overhanging branches could break under the stress of ice and snow, potentially falling onto your roof.

As part of your fall maintenance checklist, trim back your trees and remove any debris from your gutters. If your gutters still clog despite regular cleaning, invest in a gutter guard to protect your home.

2. Examine Your Attic

Although you’re more likely to see rain during the spring than in the fall, Cincinnati still sees an average of 8 to 11 inches of rain a month from August through November. These storms might not seem like much, but even a few inches can result in water damage if your roof has a leak.

When you have the time, take a quick trip to your attic. Look for stains or discoloration in the insulation, and check for rust spots near nail holes or ductwork. If you notice any warped wood or mold near the vents, joints, and seams of your attic, you may have a leak.

As you inspect your attic for signs of a leak, you may also want to consider the condition of your attic’s insulation. If your insulation sits level with (or below) your floor joists, you’ll need to install more to keep your home comfortable during the winter.

3. Schedule an Inspection

Your home’s interior may give you a few telltale signs of leaks and water damage this fall. If you see ceiling stains or bubbling paint, you can bet that water won’t be far behind.

But what about less obvious warning signs on your home’s exterior? From the ground, you might struggle to spot loose, missing, or curling shingles that need replacement. And if you don’t have the skill or equipment to mount your roof safely, you could accidentally damage yourself as well as your roof.

This fall presents the perfect opportunity to schedule a roof inspection with a professional roofing company. A reliable contractor can quickly pinpoint which sections of your roof require replacement or repairs, and he or she can recommend whether you should install new flashing around your chimney or other roof features.

Better still, when you schedule inspections and repairs in the fall, you won’t have to worry about extreme temperature shifts affecting the installation. In fall weather, your shingles will have the time they need to seal and form an airtight barrier against wind, rain, and snow.

Enjoy a Leak-Free Winter

These tasks may seem small, but they can have a big impact on your roof’s condition and performance. With a little professional help from Advantage Roofing, you can rest easy knowing that your home will be ready in time for winter.