Like most things in life, winter home projects have drawbacks and advantages. The advantage of finishing your roof maintenance now is peace of mind. For go-getters who like starting and finishing projects quickly, that’s the chief reason they want to get maintenance in the winter.
But sometimes, it is worth waiting til spring. Below, we discuss some of the things you need to consider before you call a contractor.
The Pros of Winter Roof Maintenance
Okay, so you’re on the fence about roof maintenance. Here’s the biggest reason why it’s a good idea: there’s only two ways to find out if your roof is having problems. One, you wait until the rain and snow arrives and let the water leak into your home. Two, you get the roof checked out and have all the newly-discovered leaks fixed.
Only one of those doesn’t end in water damage.
Additionally, proactively getting maintenance in the winter ensures that the small problems don’t add up. Water and snow tend to put pressure on all the small issues your roof has—but enough small problems (and pressure) add up to catastrophic damage inevitably.
Another reason to get roof maintenance is to ensure that your roof has effective drainage. Gutters get neglected pretty often, meaning water can pool on your roof or property for longer than you want. Unclogging and cleaning your gutters ensures that the snowmelt goes where you need it to go.
The Cons of Winter Roof Maintenance
Like with any winter project, there are trade-offs—and we feel duty-bound to warn you about them. In general, roof adhesives (which are vital for repairs) don’t seal well in extreme cold. So if you end up having to fix a ton of leaks in cold weather, the solution may only be temporary.
Shingled roofs have an additional downside: shingles are more likely to crack from mishandling in cold weather. The other downside is that shingled roofs run the risk of creating “ice dams” from runoff. The preventative solution for ice dams is using ice shield membranes. The problem is that the ice shields need sunlight to properly adhere to your roof.
There are ways around these risks, but you definitely need to find a reputable roofer if you’re planning a winter roof project. Inexperience or disregard for the manufacturing specs could lead to problems for your roof down the road.
There’s an upside for those of you with metal roofs: literally none of these drawbacks affect metal roofing systems.
We don’t want to discourage you from getting roof maintenance this season. Far from it—the benefit far outweighs the risks. However, winter projects require an experienced and knowledgeable company at the helm. Cold weather is tricky, and you want to make sure your contractors know how to account for the extra risks.
If you’re not sure if you should wait out the season or get maintenance immediately, give JM Roofing & Siding a call. We’re happy to help.