The warm months of summer are ending, and fall is almost here. You might not have much reason to think about your roof during the summer. But effective roofing in Vancouver, Washington, becomes a lot more essential during the winter, when it can be impacted by all the rain we receive.
The roof is one of the most important parts of your home. It’s your first line of defense against the elements. But it’s only effective if you maintain it regularly, and unfortunately, many homeowners continue to put off maintenance until another day or else forget about it entirely.
This can lead you to more costs down the road, such as a costly replacement of your entire roof. By consistently taking care of your roof instead of waiting for an emergency situation, it can last you for decades without needing to be replaced.
So how should you start preparing your roofing for the upcoming winter? It seems like a complicated task, but don’t worry. Here are some steps to ensure that your roof is prepared for the months ahead. Keep in mind, it’s always best to have the work completed by a certified contractor.
1. Inspect Your Roof for Any Issues
First, see if your roof needs any immediate repairs. We recommend getting a professional roof inspection. It’s safer than looking at the roof yourself, and the experts will be able to detect problems the average homeowner would miss. We can look for immediate issues as well as areas that might become a problem in the future. We can also do maintenance and cleaning, as well as make recommendations about future care of the roof.
A roofer will look at the condition of your shingles. These become worn out over time. We’ll look for signs of wear and tear, curling, cracking, or even missing shingles. Damaged or missing shingles can become a place where water can infiltrate your home and cause leaks or mold damage. Luckily, shingles can be replaced individually, saving you from having to replace your whole roof if just a few shingles are causing the issue.
A roofer should also look at your roof’s flashing. This is the metal material placed around chimneys, skylights, vents, and any other gaps that shingles don’t cover. It’s another layer of protection against water damage, and as you can imagine, it’s crucial that it fits tightly, is sealed, and isn’t damaged.
2. Take Care of Your Gutters
Fall foliage is beautiful here in Washington. Unfortunately, it can also spell bad news for your gutters. They can quickly get clogged with fallen leaves, twigs, and other debris during this time of year.
Gutters are vital to your roof and home. They direct water off your roof and away from your home’s walls and foundation. But when your gutters get clogged, the resulting blockages can cause water to overflow, risking damage to your gutters, walls, roof, and foundation.
To avoid leaks, mold, and other structural damage, clean your gutters regularly. It’s a good idea to clean them at least twice a year; we recommend once in the fall and once in the spring. You may need to clean them more often if you have a lot of trees on your property.
3. Maintain Your trees
Winter wind, rain, and ice can cause severe damage to trees and other foliage on your property, especially if they have not been trimmed in a while. This can affect your roof in a significant way.
Overhanging branches can scrape against your roof during heavy rainfall or strong winds. This can scratch and damage your shingles and possibly expose your home to further damage. Even more seriously, falling branches can damage your roof, and larger limbs can even fall through your roof, turning into a hazard for both your family and your property.
Before the rainy season begins, take a look at your trees. Remove any debris or broken branches. Also, trim branches that are too close to your home, especially those touching your roof. This will lessen the chances of severe damage once winter arrives.
4. Update Your Attic’s Insulation
Proper attic insulation is important in colder climates. While Vancouver doesn’t get much snow and ice, it does get cold and rainy. The changing weather in winter can lead to heat loss through your roof, especially through your attic.
If you haven’t checked out your attic in a while or are unsure of how well-insulated it is, why not find out? A properly insulated attic can save you money year-round on heating and cooling costs. At Interstate, we even offer you the best pricing when you add insulation to any roofing project.
Insulation can also help prevent ice and snow buildup. While it’s uncommon, we do get snow here in the Pacific Northwest. When a big storm happens, proper insulation will prevent serious roof damage from occurring due to snow or ice buildup.
5. Make Repairs as Soon as Possible
Once you’ve figured out the state of your roofing, schedule repairs as soon as possible. Waiting too long can mean a higher chance of an emergency happening during the cold rainy season. With Vancouver getting around 30 inches of rain during the fall and winter months, repairs during this time are more challenging and can take longer.
Roof maintenance is vital for keeping your home in good condition. It’s best to be proactive and do a little bit of maintenance work on your roof every year, rather than being reactive and only doing major work when a problem occurs. Schedule maintenance work, roof repairs, and tree trimming as soon as possible to save yourself the stress of an emergency later.
Need an inspection or want to start doing repairs today? Contact Interstate Roofing today. We have over 30 years of experience repairing, maintaining, and replacing roofing in the Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, areas. We would love to work with you to make sure that your roof protects your family for the years to come.