Winter Is Coming: Preparing Your Roof For Inclement Weather

Here in our fair city of Toronto, it is often said that autumn is the most beautiful season; the season in which the GTA really comes into its own. The weather is still pleasant, the trees turn that golden mixture of yellow and orange and bicycling around the city is a joy (just look out for those dreaded wet leaves). Working as full-time roofers in Toronto and the GTA, we really appreciate working outdoors at this time of year. While we’ve talked a lot about summer maintenance here on the blog, it’s time to shift our attention to another important matter: preparing your roof for the onslaught of winter.

The main thing to think about here is the fact that your roof will be largely inaccessible (or at least, increasingly inaccessible) during the winter months. As we’ve stressed here on the blog before: we discourage you from going up on your roof during the winter months to clear snow or patch fractures; the snow disperses itself evenly across the roof and poses no threat. If you have a serious problem with your roof, do the smart thing and enlist our professional roof repair services in Toronto – the last thing you want is a broken arm from slipping off your roof.

An important thing to keep an eye on throughout the fall season is the buildup of leaves in your gutters that could potentially block your spouts and allow water to cause damage to your shingles, soffit and fascia. If you happen to have a flat roof and you’re confident in your ability to navigate it, you can clear leaves out of those gutters and sweep away debris. Obviously it’s a pain to constantly do this: we suggest gutter screens and guards as a protective measure to allow your spouts and gutters to function properly. If there is a more serious problem, call us to perform flat roof repairs and perhaps even install a treatment that can prevent moss and mildew from eroding your shingles and causing leaks.    

Next on our checklist is the extremely important matter of insulation. Wood fiber is an extremely common basic option composed of wood mixed with binding fibers and potentially impregnated with asphalt. There is an option to have this material treated to resist moisture, which is great for preventing mold. Polystyrene, cellular glass and gypsum board are other options that you can look at to figure out what will work best for your home. You certainly want to make sure that your home is retaining as much heat as possible, but also keep in mind the importance of ventilation – standing air can create a sour acrid smell (that terrible smell you sometimes get in basements and attics) due to wood rot and mold. Again, the purpose of this post is to prepare you for winter, so you may want to take these matters into account before you batten down the hatches.

To recap: clearing debris off of your roof and making sure the gutters and downspouts are functioning properly is paramount to good roof maintenance – especially in our moist, cool climate. Insulation is another issue that is important, but some people forget about insulation because it is hidden from sight. If you are unsure about your roof this autumn, call us up and we’ll be happy to come perform an inspection!