Preparing And Coping With Your Old House's Roof Over The Winter
If your home is more than a few decades old, the onset of winter might be worrisome for you because you aren't sure if the roof can hold up another season. You may not even know that there are measures you can take to make it more likely that your roof will be fine in spite of the colder months. These tips can help you take action so your roof lasts another winter.
Look for Problems
Dealing with existing issues before the snow begins to fall can be wise if you're trying to protect an old roof. Are there any dark or wet spots on the roof of different rooms or the attic, for instance? Is the roof flashing around the skylight or chimney loose? Does it smell musty in your attic? These are all things which could require attention, as they could be early indicators of problems that could only get worse. You may need to patch leaks, tighten flashing or complete other minor tasks before winter really sets in.
If you haven't paid much attention to the gutters that line the edges of your old roof, now's the time to ensure that twigs and other items aren't causing trouble. Not only could water leak into interior areas, but in the winter, water could freeze, making drainage impossible. That could damage shingles and perhaps the structure itself. Ensure you've got an eye on your gutters so they can stay clear.
Attach Heating Cables
One problem that an old roof can experience during the winter is bearing significant amounts of snow or ice. If you're living in an area where you expect heavy winter storms, you will need to ensure you're keeping the roof as clear as you can so that you don't have any caving in. A way to do this is to attach heating cables directly on top of the old roof. These cables work whenever they're powered up to keep the surface of your roof warm enough that ice, freezing rain and snow are unable to accumulate much; some models work automatically at specific external temperatures.
Use Snow Rakes
If you're looking for a lower cost solution to snow accumulation on your old roof than heating cables, a snow rake could be a solution. However, if you plan to use one, realize you'll have to head up to the roof yourself. Ensure that conditions are safe and that you are harnessed while on the roof, since it could be slippery. Dragging the rake slowly and taking small steps can help you do the job without hurting yourself.
The measures above can help ease your nerves about whether your old roof can survive through the year's winter. It might make you feel even better to have a roofing professional like one from Darnell Construction visit your home and take a look at the structure and provide the appropriate guidance.