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How to check your roof for winter damage

ice on roof

Winter is the harshest time of the year for your house. With the season bringing snow and hail storms, you’ll be lucky if your roof survives with little to no damage. Here’s how to check whether your roof needs to be repaired or replaced after the coldest season of the year.

Start from the inside

If you followed our guidelines on how to prepare your roof for winter, then your house should have been completely sealed against water and moisture. But sometimes, even the sturdiest structure is no match for the power of nature. The first step in checking for winter damage is to look for telltale signs of water leakage.

Damp or wet spots on the floor and along the walls usually indicate a leak above or around the area, so be sure to thoroughly inspect your house for those. Also, examine your ceiling for discoloration or stains, two clear indications that water has seeped in. Inspect for cracked plasters, as these may point to a leak inside your walls. And because new and small leaks usually don’t show on the surface, it’s always best to contact your local roofing expert to inspect for damage that you may miss.

Survey the roof’s exterior

Your house may be free from leaks on the inside, but that doesn’t mean your roof survived winter unscathed. Take a walk around your property and survey your roof from afar. Check whether the slopes are straight and even, and if there are pockmarks or dents due to hail or other objects pelting your roof.

Also check for missing or cracked shingles, as a sudden thaw can lift shingles slightly. When exposed to high winds, they can be torn loose and fly off. Fortunately, some shingles don’t have to be replaced — they just need to be pressed down and resealed. When you see that parts of your roof are missing or deformed, or if there are foreign objects like tree trunks or satellite dishes that need to be removed from the site, resist the urge to fix the problem yourself and call roofers to do the job instead.

Check your gutters

Now is a good time to inspect your gutters and eaves, as winter may have brought problems with drainage. Be wary of ice dams, which happen when the snow melts and freezes again quickly, forming a wall of ice just by your roof’s eaves and preventing water from flowing down the drain. Check for leaves, branches, and other objects that may have clogged your gutters, too. While you can remove small obstructions in the gutter to facilitate water flow, you should always leave ice dams to experts. Removing ice dams involves complicated procedures, and one misstep can further damage your roof.

Seek expert opinion

To make sure every inch of your roof is inspected for damage, it’s best to call roof professionals. They can examine your roof up close and check the areas where the roof is connected to other structures, like the roof vent or chimney. They can also examine flashings and make sure that the things holding them together, like the caulking or cement, are in good condition and didn’t crack when temperatures dipped below freezing point.

If you want your house to last for generations, then checking your roof for winter damage should be part of your yearly routine. And when it comes to roof refurbishment or replacement, you should only trust the experts. They know roofs inside out, they can fix your roof according to your budget and schedule, and their workmanship guarantees that your insurance isn’t voided.

D&D Roofing and Sheet Metals, Inc. is one of Nevada’s premier roof experts. We have successfully gotten Nevadan homes through 42 winters, and we’ll help you weather this year’s winter, too. For roof repairs, reinforcements, or replacement, call us today.

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