Proper maintenance of your roof and gutter system is essential for the overall life of your roof, and your entire building. Tired of roof raking during the winter? Then it’s time to go a little deeper to figure out what might be compromising your roof.
Consider installing a rubberized roofing underlayment beneath your shingles, and covering all the low-pitch areas. It’s easier to do this when you’re re-roofing, but not necessary. Another key to proper roof maintenance is attic insulation. You want to use insulation products that have a high R-value. State code requires at least an R of 38.
We’re going to take a moment here to discuss air leaks in your attic. When you seal air leaks, it’s goes way beyond just insulation. Finding and sealing air leaks improves the overall energy-efficiency of your insulation, but merely updating your insulation does not solve air leaks. Your insulation works better when there is no air moving around it. It’s not difficult to find where these leaks are occurring, but you have to know where to look. Consider finding a professional for this task.
What’s the key to maintaining a roof in snowy climates? Simplicity. Avoid complicated designs when you live in an area that is prone to rough winters. Complicated roofs look great, of course. But they’re going to throw you a serious punch when it comes to ventilation, drainage, and overall upkeep.
Speaking of winter, if you’re dealing with ice dams, consider a deicing system to help reduce the dams and to create an edge along your roof and gutters that allows snow to melt and flow off. This is really only necessary if you have a complicated roof design that is very hard to rake. Deicing cables, or heating cables, are an economic way to drain off the melting snow. But be sure to steer clear from cheap hardware-store versions. Hire a professional!
Now, in terms of general maintenance, you want to always remove debris from your roof whenever possible. If this task seems too dangerous for you, be sure to only undertake it on days that are sunny and dry. No one should ever step out onto a slippery roof. Lastly, always check your attic for any signs of stains which indicate that water is seeping into your home. That’s the clearest sign that something is not right with your roof.