What You Need to Know About Winter Roof Prep in Minnesota

Roof with a Snow — Minneapolis, MN - D.S. Bahr Construction, Inc.How should you prepare your home for the next Minnesota winter? As the autumn leaves fall off the trees and the temperature drops, you need to start thinking about cold-weather prep. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at what you need to know about Minnesota winters, your roof, and home maintenance.

How Can Winter Impact Your Roof?

Each season comes with different potential roofing issues. The flooding rains of the spring can leak through a roof that has missing shingles, significant wear and tear, or damage. Summer storms and whipping winds can tear shingles off your roof, and hail can puncture or dent the roof’s outer layer. Autumn leaves can fill gutters, causing clogs and backups that leak into your home.

Like the other three seasons, winter comes with its own roofing risks. These primarily include:

  • Snow buildup. Minnesota averages between 36 and 70 inches of snow each year, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources. This can weaken an already worn roof or lead to ice dams.
  • Ice dams. As heat rises through your home, it warms the roof. This melts the snow, which then rolls down the roof to the colder eave. The water then re-freezes and causes an icy accumulation. Ice dams can eventually cause leaks and damage the interior of your home.
  • Storm damage. Summer isn’t the only season that has the potential for storm damage. Wild winter winds can send branches into your roof or peel away older, loose shingles.

The potential for wintertime problems means you need to adequately prepare your roof for the season. While you can’t prevent every issue, routine preseason maintenance can help you reduce the risks to your roof.

Should You Inspect Your Roof?

Your roof may have successfully made it through a Minnesota fall. But will it stand up to the cold temperatures, ice, and snow of the state’s winter? If you can’t answer this question or the answer is no, you need to schedule a professional inspection or maintenance service. A roofing contractor can:

  • Get close to the roofing material. You can look at the roof from the ground. But this may not reveal all the problems. A roofer will do more than just stand in your yard and look up. The professional can climb onto the roof to inspect every part of it.
  • Assess issues safely.It’s never advisable to walk onto your roof—especially in the rainy fall weather. Without the proper training and equipment, you could slip and fall. Instead, leave this job to the professional contractor.
  • Recommend preventative or repair services.After the roofer completes the inspection, they can recommend any needed services. These could include shingle replacement, gutter repairs, or new flashing around seams or the chimney.

Even though it’s best to hire a pro for a roofing inspection, you can note some issues you see inside or outside of your home. Damp patches on ceilings or the tops of walls, running interior paint, drips in the attic, and blisters or bubbles in paint could point to a leaky roof. Let the contractor know about these potential problems when they inspect the rest of the roof.

How Can You Prevent Midwinter Roofing Problems?

The inspection isn’t the last step of the prevention process. Proactively stop damage, leaks, and other roofing issues before winter is in full swing by making necessary repairs right now.

Even though you may not have budgeted for new shingles, flashing, gutters, or another roofing component, the money you spend in the fall can save you additional expenses in the spring.

Along with repairs/replacements, make sure the attic or space under the room is ventilated correctly. The roofer can assess this area and look for possible problems. A poorly ventilated attic can lead to excess heat buildup. This can compound snowmelt/refreezing issues and make it more likely that ice dams will form.

Do you need to schedule a roof repair service? Contact D.S. Bahr Construction, Inc., for more information.


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