The excitement of the holiday season is right around the corner. As you plan to celebrate with friends and family this winter, keeping your roof’s condition in mind is essential.
Your roof plays a vital role in keeping your family warm, safe and well-prepared for the holidays. To ensure your roof is ready for winter, take a look at the following tips to winterize your Hershey roof.
6 Tips for Help Prepare Your Hershey, Pennsylvania, Roof
Preparing to winterize your roof for the winter season is a relatively simple process that lets you see firsthand how much your roof can withstand. Your roof is a trooper when it comes to protecting your home from stray tree branches, wildlife critters and rainfall. You can give this space extra love, attention and thanks for its efforts by giving it a fresh makeover.
To prepare your roof for winter, follow these steps and enjoy making memories this holiday season from the comfort of your home.
1. Get to Know South Central Pennsylvania Weather
The first step to winterizing your roof is understanding the weather we typically see in South Central Pennsylvania.
Unlike upstate New York, where you might experience heavy blizzards all winter long, Hershey doesn’t typically have these weather conditions yearly. Instead, you might experience a few snowfalls in December, January, February and sometimes early March that only reach a few inches per storm.
In the 2021-2022 winter season, South Central Pennsylvania saw about 16 inches of snow spread throughout these chilly months. This scattered snowfall gave homeowners plenty of time to clear their roofs to avoid damage from the weight and moisture of the snow. If you’ve been local to the area for the past few years, you understand how these snowfalls aren’t typically cause for concern. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to unpredictable weather forecasts that can impact the quality of your roof.
2. Note Damaged Shingles
Assessing what repairs you may need can help plan the next steps to winterize your roof. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing up to your roof, let a trusted team of contractors help you out!
If you do feel okay going up the roof, use a ladder to make your way up. Once you have a good view of the surface, make a note of any loose, cracked or missing shingles. These roof parts help keep drafts, moisture and pesky creatures out of your home, letting you and your family go about your daily routines without worry. If you notice bare spots on your roof from missing or cracked shingles, you should plan to repair your roof in advance to fully prepare for the winter.
3. Clear Your Gutters
Making sure your gutters are clean and stable is essential to winterize your roof. The state of your gutters can be a sign of your roof’s overall quality. Smooth drainage from your gutters to the ground will help ensure your roof can withstand several inches of snow and rainfall all winter.
To ensure your gutters are ready for winter weather conditions, use a ladder and carefully climb up to where you can see into the gutters. You may notice leaves, twigs, acorns and other assorted debris inside. While these objects may seem harmless, they can prevent rain and melted snow from draining properly to the ground below. Too much water in the gutters can weigh down your roof and potentially cause damage to the shingles.
Follow these careful steps to clear your gutters in time for winter:
- Wear protective clothing, including sturdy shoes, a long-sleeved shirt and thick rubber gloves.
- Use a ladder to climb up high enough to reach into the gutters.
- Starting near the downspout, clear away any blockages that are clogging drainage.
- Deposit any debris in a bucket, trash bag or other container.
- Once the debris is gone, use a hose to rinse the gutters, starting furthest away from the downspout to ensure there’s a clear path for water to make its way down the gutters properly.
- Check the downspout on the ground to check if the water successfully made its way through the gutters.
- Throw away the debris from the gutters.
Now that your gutters are clear, you can also take this opportunity to do a quality check to ensure they are ready for winter weather. In some cases, your gutters might have taken on damage from heavy blockages. It’s best to repair or replace any damaged sections now to ensure your gutters are in good shape for winter.
Signs that you should replace or repair your gutters before winter include:
- Rust and paint damage.
- Gutters pulling away from the house.
- Sagging gutter sections.
- Mold growth.
- Basement flooding or ceiling water damage.
Luckily, unless you have constant water pooling or gutters sagging away from the roof, you’ll only need to replace or repair sections rather than installing a completely new drainage system. Clearing out the gutters, replacing cracked sections and applying a fresh coat of water-resistant paint is typically enough to ensure your roof is ready for South Central Pennsylvania’s winter weather.
4. Cut Back Long Branches
One of the leading causes of blocked gutters is overhanging trees that drop leaves, acorns and twigs. Fallen branches can also weigh down or damage roof shingles, allowing water and cold air to find their way into your home in the winter.
Cut back long branches as much as possible to avoid potential damage. Even the thinnest branches can block your gutters and impact your roof’s ability to fight off excess moisture and cold temperatures from snow storms.
If you are dealing with skinny branches that can easily come down with a few simple pulls, you can carefully remove these limbs to avoid roof damage. Follow these steps to remove small limbs safely:
- Use a ladder to climb within reach of the base of the limb.
- Use a saw, gardening shears, hedge trimmers or loppers to cut the branches as close to the trunk as possible.
- Drop the branches to the ground away from the roof.
Remember not to climb higher than the second-highest rung on the ladder to avoid falls. If your trees are too tall to reach, leave the work to a professional team who can get to these heights safely to cut back the limbs as needed.
Similarly, it’s best to leave larger limbs to the professionals who regularly work with roofing and tree trimming. It’s especially helpful to call a professional service if you have multiple trees over your home that need maintenance before the winter season arrives. Professionals work with equipment that requires experience and training, including chainsaws and tactical rope.
Even when appropriately cut, large branches can still fall onto the roof and cause damage to the shingles and gutters. A professional can take the necessary steps to remove tree limbs hanging over your roof and cut them back to avoid growing too quickly again the following year.
5. Inspect Your Attic
Your roof protects you and your family from heavy snowfall, cold temperatures and overhanging branches. Your attic is the second layer of safety from these winter conditions. It’s vital to inspect your attic before the temperatures drop to check for any air or water leaks that can cause internal damage to your home.
Take a few minutes to inspect your attic’s ventilation to ensure it’s ready to support your roof through the seasonal winter conditions. The insulation should help maintain a comfortable temperature balance throughout this space. When you go up to the attic, walk around and see if you notice any temperature fluctuations in certain areas.
Reaching up to the highest points of the room can help identify cold spots in the ceiling that indicate weaknesses in the roof. If you notice these chilled temperatures in the attic, your roof could have a cracked shingle or hidden hole that’s challenging to spot from the outside.
You should also take note of any exceedingly warm temperatures in the attic. Proper ventilation should balance the airflow, keeping heat and humidity out of the attic. Box, ridge and wind vents are the most common ventilation systems in residential homes and apartments. When these vents stop working because of a leak or system malfunction, they can cause a variety of roofing issues, including:
- Shingle failure.
- Mold growth.
- Rotten roof sheathing.
- Compromised insulation.
If you think your ventilation system might be broken or leaking, a roofing professional can help assess these issues and find the best possible solution to protect your roof in time for winter.
6. Get a Professional Roof Inspection
A professional inspection by a trusted roofing team is the best way to ensure that your roof is ready for the chilly winter season. With experience in homes all over the area, you can be sure these professionals will take the necessary steps to assess your shingles, ventilation system, gutters and overall quality of your roof.
During the inspection, you can expect to see the roofing team inspect the different parts of your roof, including the chimney, if your home has one. If they notice significant damage that can cause moisture and cold air to infiltrate your house, they might suggest replacing your roof for your and your family’s safety.
Common signs you need a roof replacement can include:
- Old age: Most roofs have an average life span of 20 years or more, protecting your home from storms and debris. After two decades, you may need to replace your roof to ensure the quality can withstand the average snowfall expected in the winter seasons in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
- Leaking: If your trip to the attic or in another area of the home shows water leaks from the ceiling, you may have water damage from your roof. Rain and snow can get through the roof from cracked shingles or an air filtration issue. Replacing your roof can prevent leaks and damage to your home’s interior.
- Sagging ceiling: Excess moisture leaking from the roof into your home can cause water damage. Water in the ceiling can get trapped in the paint and cause sagging in the house. A new roof can prevent further leaks and interior damage.
- Damaged shingles: Missing, cracked or decaying shingles can signal that your roof is not protecting your home from water and air leaks. A total roof replacement can help ensure there’s no way for these elements to get into the house during the winter.
- Stains and streaks: Walls and ceilings are typically the most significant indicators of roof leaks year-round. Stains in the ceiling or streaks in the walls can be a sign that water from rainfall or snow is getting through the roof. You can prevent these damages by replacing your roof.
- Gutter build-up: If you notice traces of shingle granules in your gutters while cleaning them out, you may have decaying shingles on your roof. Since these roof parts can cause water damage inside the home, it’s best to replace your roof entirely.
If there is only one spot in your roof that might be causing leaks or cold drafts, you may only need to patch up the damaged area with a roof repair project to ensure your home is ready for the holidays. This process is typically shorter than a complete roof replacement, with the same successful results of a quality roof that can withstand snowfall and cold temperatures. With the final repairs ready, you can rest assured that you have properly prepared your roof for winter.
Prepare Your Hershey Roof With Joyland Roofing
Get ready for the winter season with the help of Joyland Roofing. We can help protect your Hershey home from heavy snowfall and moisture during the upcoming chilly months.
We offer an initial estimate for your repairs, followed by an in-person inspection. During your consultation, we take careful steps to assess your roof shingles, gutters and any exterior damage that can cause leaking from rainstorms and other natural occurrences. Once our team of expert repair technicians finds the best course of action for your home, we’ll send you a final quote.
At Joyland Roofing, we prioritize fast solutions and honesty to best communicate your roof’s needs to you and your family. We’ll work to find you the replacement or repair process that offers long-lasting results so that you can enjoy a cozy holiday season with your loved ones.
Fill out our contact form today to get started!