With the fall season just starting, it might seem to be a weird time to be going over winter season roofing system care. Even in Myrtle Beach, we can have some serious weather which can cause damage to your roof. The fact is there is perhaps no better time to establish a winter roofing maintenance schedule — one that may just save you a great deal of money and worry till the next cold season arrives.
Regardless of whether your house or business has a flat or sloped roofing, it’s important to understand where and how things like snow, ice, and extreme temperature levels can compromise the stability of your roofing.
The secret to maintaining your roof’s stability throughout the winter months is carefully tied to how well you understand your roofing system. Which areas of your roof have generally been problem areas? Have you discovered any leaking that has to be attended to before the very first ice storm or snowfall? If your house has an aged roof or you’d just prefer to have a little bit of comfort, it would not hurt to have a Myrtle Beach roofing contractor examine your roofing for any concerns. If you cannot pay for an expert to examine your roofing system’s condition, get a ladder and perform your own initial visual inspection; if you see things like cracked shingles or a jeopardized seal around a chimney or skylight, you can then feel warranted in hiring a roofing professional.
Keep Your Gutters Clean and Clear at All Times
Part of being proactive is regular eaves trough upkeep. Not only does removing debris from your seamless gutters prevent ice dams throughout the winter, it helps avoid overflow during periods of heavy rain. If rain gutters overflow, water can collect and find its way below the shingles where it can then continue to rot the wood– considerably shortening the lifespan of any roofing.
Assess Your Insulation Situation
Another method you can proactively protect your roof is to inspect your attic insulation– if inadequate, too much heat will get away causing the collected snow to thaw and freeze consistently into a layer of ice. Over time the ice will thicken; restraining the circulation of water to the rain gutter, which can result in water permeating your roofing system.
Other things you can visually check to identify the health of your roofing system:
- Check the roofing line and make sure it is straight (no bowing or drooping).
- Look for any missing pieces of brick or mortar on the chimney (if appropriate).
- Check for missing or broken tiles.
- Try to find dark areas on your ceiling– these might show leaks or areas of weakness that have to be dealt with.
- Early visual evaluations will go a long way to making sure your roofing has an uneventful winter season, but that doesn’t imply you don’t need to be alert once the flakes start to fall.
Dealing with Generous Quantities of Snow
In Myrtle Beach, we generally don’t have a lot of snow but we are susceptible to freezing rain. You might need to get rid of accumulated ice from your roof or risk it collapsing (this is far more likely to happen in roofing systems that are more than a couple of years old). If you will be the one removing the snow, make sure that you have the right tools for the task and that you work out a sensible amount of care prior to undertaking this task. You may be tempted to utilize your ordinary lawn rake to remove the ice, however, be warned, using a tool that is comprised of rigid metal teeth means you run the risk of destructive shingles with every stroke.
Roofing rakes are extendable, light-weight rakes that enable you to safely eliminate the ice or snow from your roof without much effort. Furthermore, when you compare its cost to the prospective cost of fixing ice dam damage, roofing rakes represent a quite reasonable investment.
If you Have a Flat Roof
Flat roofs are designed to withstand the weight of ice and snow, but even then you might wish to have a professional clear off the snow if you are receiving an abundance. Just like a sloped roofing system, you will want to work with someone to visually inspect the condition of your roofing system (or perform the assessment yourself) before the weather condition returns.
Among the most essential things you can do for your flat roof in preparation for the winter season is to remove all debris from the roofing itself (leaves, twigs and so on) and from the drain center. If the drain center ends up being blocked, there will be no other way to remove the water from your roof.
Finally, find a Myrtle Beach roofing contractor that you more than happy with. Call and get quotes from a variety of roofers in your area to learn what they charge for different tasks like snow or ice elimination. It doesn’t hurt to know ahead of time how much these services will cost, and doing so can help you plan for these services if the need arises.