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Fall/Winter Roof Maintenance Checklist

checklist concept with two red check marks for roof maintenance

Fall is here, and we’ll soon be moving into winter. While winter in Houston is milder than in many parts of the world, you still need to be prepared for the chance of freezing temperatures and even, on occasion, snow. Your roof should also be prepared for more rain storms and sometimes hail storms. For this, you’ll have to perform thorough roof maintenance and may even need a roof inspection. This will help to extend the life of your roof as well as protect it from the elements during the most challenging time of year.

But where do you get started on roof maintenance for the colder months? It can help to have a fall roof maintenance list, so in today’s blog, let’s break down some of the most important roof maintenance tips.

First, Get a Roof Inspection

It’s a good idea to get a roof inspection, and fall is the perfect time of year for it. A roof inspection from a trusted roofing professional can help you spot issues with your roof so you can know if you need roof repairs before you get started on your fall roof maintenance list. At Houston Roofing, we offer free roof inspections if:

  • Your current roof is old and may need to be replaced
  • You’ve noticed leaks in your home
  • You’ve experienced severe weather conditions recently and are worried about the effect on your roof
  • You’re worried about your home’s energy efficiency, particularly with respect to roof ventilation

A roof inspection can also be a good idea if there’s recently been a heavy storm, especially involving strong winds or hail, as it can point out repair issues that you might not have noticed. Once you’ve had a roof inspection and your roof repairs are finished, you can get started with your fall roof maintenance list. 

Clean Roof Gutters

Your roof gutters are essential to the health of your roof. They protect your roof from leaks by funneling water off the roof and towards a downspout leading away from the house. If your roof gutters are in good shape, they’ll not only protect your roof but your walls and siding and even your foundational soil. If your gutters have become clogged, however, the water has nowhere to go and often pools on the roof, leading to leaks and roof rot.

Each fall, as it nears winter, clear out your roof gutters. You can lay a tarp down on the ground to catch all the leaves, branches, and debris, or you can use a trashbag at your level. You may also notice roof granules in your gutters, which could spell a need for roof repair or even roof replacement, as your roof granules are no longer protecting your roof. On the other hand, you may spot scratches and scrapes in your gutter that could lead to leaks. If you notice these issues with your roof gutters, make sure to repair them as soon as possible. You can also install gutter guards at this time to keep debris out of your gutters while letting water in.

Trim Nearby Trees

Houston may not be known for snowstorms, but that doesn’t mean that we’re exempt from fall and winter storms. These storms can come with high winds, and those winds can be as much of an issue for the roof as anything else. One problem that can occur is damage from nearby trees. Fallen leaves and branches can clutter up the roof gutters. Branches can scrape the roof’s surface, damaging it and causing leaks. It’s for this reason that homeowners often trim tree branches that hang over the roof. You should have a minimum of 3 feet in distance between the branches of the trees and your roof.

Secure Any Flashing

Roof flashing is thin sheet metal that wraps around the vents of your roof, protecting them from potential leaks due to storms and water damage. This is especially important in fall, as during the colder months your roof vents will be more essential than ever. But flashing is nailed down and can become loose over time, allowing water to slip in underneath and leak into your home. As part of your fall roof maintenance, climb up to your roof and search for any signs of loose or rusted flashing. If it’s loose, you can nail it back down and secure it for the winter. If the flashing is rusted, you may need to invest in new flashing.

Inspect the Interior

It’s one thing to have a roof inspection of the exterior. This can be important to the health of your roof. But it can also be important to inspect the interior of your home as part of your fall roof maintenance. Take a look at the ceilings. Do you notice any sign of water damage: any discoloration or outlines of puddles? The best way to get a sense of how things look from the interior is to go up to the attic. On a sunny day, you should be able to see cracks of light breaking through the ceiling in the event that there are any leaks.

Replace Your Roof, If Needed

Of course, this is a last resort if your roof’s issues cannot be fixed with repairs, or if the cost of the repairs would be too great compared to the cost of a replacement. However, if your roof needs to be replaced, it’s best not to wait until spring. You’ll need a roof in peak condition for fall and winter, and you may even be able to have a roof replacement sooner because fall and winter are low season for contractors. Replace your roof as soon as possible in order to ensure that you have the best, most energy efficient roof for the winter to come as well as for the years to come after.

Need help getting your roof in shape for fall and winter? Contact Houston Roofing today for more information or a free estimate.