Winter signals a time of many wonderful things; holidays, family time, vacations, and more. What else can it signal? Possible roof damage. Winter weather like rain, sleet, snow, and high winds can wreak havoc on roofs by creating new damage or exacerbating an existing issue. Slate Roofing Professionals offers these tips on how you can prepare your slate roof for the winter, keeping everyone inside safe and comfortable.
Inspecting Your Roof
Understanding the state of your slate roof requires a thorough inspection. Since your roof is constantly being exposed to the elements, it is imperative to check for cracks, gaps, or shifted tiles. Additionally, be on the lookout for signs of water damage like interior water stains, rot, and other leaks.
Other points to inspect:
- Make sure all the flashing, gutters and downspouts are intact and the chimney has no cracks. Also ensure the chimney cap or flue covers are in good condition.
- Check the roof decking (sheathing), the underlayment on which the tiles are installed.
At Slate Roofing Professionals, we offer roof inspections so you can feel confident that all issues are addressed before winter arrives. Feel free to reach out to us here for a quote.
Once any damage to your slate roof is identified, it is equally as important to understand the level of delamination of tiles, amount of damage to flashings (more on that next), and how much debris needs to be cleared from gutters. Oftentimes, clogged or incorrectly placed gutters are the culprit when it comes to slate roof damage, so it’s critical to make sure yours are in good shape.
Additionally, getting the full scope of any possible water damage to your slate roof is crucial. Catching these issues early will deter further water leaks from making their way inside to ceilings and walls, preventing the growth of mold and mildew.
- A vital way to prevent water damage from wet winter weather is to ensure all roof flashings are unscathed and free of holes, open seams, or other misaligned pieces. If there is an issue with your slate roof’s flashings, these should be repaired or replaced before the weather turns.
- Additionally, as we are located in the Northeast and are vulnerable to northern New Jersey winters, installing snow guards on the rooftop will help snow and ice melt completely and drift off the roof to avoid snow retention (which can lead to water damage).
- To that point, check for proper roof insulation and ventilation to prevent ice dams, which are a common source of leaks and roof damage. Ice dams occur when the attic air temperature is much warmer than the outside temperature. If so, the underside of the snowpack on the roof melts, then usually refreezes en route to the gutters. This can result in an ice dam that prevents the water from draining properly. A properly insulated and ventilated attic helps prevent the roof from warming up and this in turn prevents the formation of ice dams.
Preventing Future Damage & Good Maintenance
As with any investment, routine maintenance of your slate roof is important all year round, and especially ahead of the winter season. The specialists at Slate Roofing Professionals will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your slate roof to help prevent costly (and potentially unavoidable) repairs down the line.
Contact us to make sure your slate roof is winter-ready in North Jersey, Central Jersey, and Westchester County, NY.
New! Snowbird Program for NJ Residences
Worried about your roof while you winter in warmer climates? We have you covered! With our Snowbird Program you can be assured that your slate, tile, copper or shingle roof will be protected and maintained while you’re away. Learn more about our Snowbird Program.