You’ve probably heard us recommend you get your roof inspected and gutters cleaned twice per year — once in the spring and once in the fall.
But it’s important to know that maintaining your roofs and gutters is a year round task — one that protects your investment, saves you money, and dodges headaches later down the road.
We’ve gathered a list of important roof maintenance and gutter tasks to complete to help you avoid disrepair and damage during the winter.
☐ Inspect your attic and ventilation
Before you head outside, pay a visit to your attic or crawlspace, looking for any obvious signs of leaks, moisture, sagging, or water damage. One easy way to check for leaks is to turn off the lights once you are in the attic, and search for signs of light shining through where it shouldn’t be. If you notice any of these things, it’s time to call a professional.
Another great thing to check while you’re there is your attic’s ventilation, making sure it’s functioning and clear of debris. Maintaining proper ventilation of your attic will help extend the life of your roof, and prevent temperature extremes in your home.
☐ Trim back surrounding trees
If you have trees or branches close to your house, it’s a good idea to trim them back away from the roof. Not only does this keep annoying debris like leaves, pinecones, and twigs from falling onto your roof or gutters — it also removes the danger of an unstable tree branch from falling and damaging your roof, or injuring someone in the event of a wind or snowstorm.
☐ Visually inspect your roof
You can do this safely from the ground — simply look for signs of sagging or leaking, especially around the chimney if your house has one. If you see or suspect damage to your roof, or notice any of your shingles are damaged or missing, it’s best to contact a professional roof repair company like All Around Maintenance right away — roofs during perfect conditions are often steep and slippery. Add to that the rainy, wet, and/or icy conditions of Portland winters, and you could find yourself in a dangerous situation.
☐ Visually inspect your gutters and downspouts
The worst time to realize your gutters and downspouts are clogged is when you notice rain water falling over the side of your house during a downpour. If you have yet to experience it, trust us — no one wants that. Not only can it wreak havoc on your landscaping and cause erosion, but it can actually drop water down right near the foundation of your house, potentially causing thousands of dollars of damage.
That’s why it’s important to regularly check your gutters and downspouts for blockage, leakage, and damage. If you feel like you know how to carefully and safely do this yourself, tread with caution in the winter months. If not, it’s best to contact a skilled roof and gutter maintenance company like All Around Maintenance right away to have it inspected by a professional.
☐ Check and repair flashing
When you get your roof and gutters cleaned in the fall, it’s a good idea to ask your roof and gutter cleaners to take a look at the flashing on your roof and note signs of damage. The flashing is a key point of protection from leaks on any roof. It’s strategically placed at its weakest points, like at the base of the chimney, on the roof’s corners, and in roof valleys.
It’s also a good idea to regularly look at your roof yourself (you can do this just fine from the ground!). Flashing is typically made from a rust-resistant metal like aluminum or galvanized steel, and can be spotted pretty easily in the locations listed above. If you see any of the flashing has come up off the roof, has visible cracks, or is simply missing, it’s time to call a professional to take a look.
☐ Make a plan for snow
We know it doesn’t usually snow often in the Portland metro area, but when it does, it has a tendency to bring the whole city to a screeching halt and shut everything down. With that in mind, make a plan for snow before it happens, ensuring you have all the tools you may need to help maintain your roof and gutters beforehand — and handle a leak in case one comes.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to have the number of a company that offers snow and ice dam removal for your roof onhand. Snow may look light and fluffy, but it is deceivingly heavy, and can put a lot of extra and unnecessary weight on your roof if left to sit.
Not only that, but when your attic’s temperature is warm enough to melt the snow sitting on your roof, if the snowmelt freezes on your roof eaves before it has the chance to drain, it can lead to moisture seeping into your roof.
If you try to clean your roof yourself, you run the risk of damaging the roof’s shingles, scraping granules off of the shingles (reducing its life), or slipping and falling off the roof.
The safest and recommended thing to do to remove snow from your roof is to work with professionals.
☐ Get a professional inspection
A professional roof and gutter maintenance company will be able to safely and efficiently accomplish all of your winter maintenance needs, and identify problems before they start. Contact our team today at (503) 209-3032 or book a consultation online to learn how we can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can gutters be cleaned in the winter?
Yes! We recommend cleaning your gutters in the fall before the winter weather hits. But gutters can safely be cleaned in the winter when the temperature is above freezing. If there’s ice anywhere on the ground, or if you feel unsafe, avoid it and call a professional.
- How do I keep my gutters from freezing in the winter?
Here are 3 easy things you can try:
- Make sure your gutters are clean and clear of debris before temperatures drop below freezing. This prevents water from getting blocked and freezing over in your gutters.
- Install gutter guards to block debris from dropping into the gutter
- Talk with your gutter cleaning company about the slope of your gutters and make sure they are placed to drain efficiently
- Is it OK to put on a new roof in winter?
Yes. It isn’t ideal to put on a new roof in colder temperatures, but it can be done. Not only is it more dangerous to put on a new roof in the winter — when conditions are typically more slippery — but it’s better to install new shingles in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps prevent them from cracking in the cold or becoming damaged from ice dams.
Need help with winter maintenance? Contact us today
Roof and gutter maintenance is an important year-round task for Portland-area homeowners — and we’re here for all of your winter roof and gutter maintenance needs!