Is your roofing something that you rarely, if ever, think about? Do you know how to tell if your roof is ready for winter? If you're like most people, you probably don't think about your roof at all unless you discover a leak. But the roof is an important aspect of your home, one that should not be ignored. Not paying attention when it is showing signs of getting ready to leak can result in expensive repairs. By keeping an eye on your roof, you can prevent an issue that may only cost a few hundred dollars to repair now from becoming something that could cost several thousand dollars later. Some things you should watch for include:
Curling shingles: Shingles start to curl sometimes due to heat or age. Regardless of the cause, this curl starts to expose the roofing material underneath the shingles to the elements, eventually resulting in leaks. Curling shingles are bad at any time of the year but can be especially bad in winter. In winter, water can get beneath the shingles and freeze. When water freezes, it expands and this expansion can result in the shingles being torn from your roof. This may only happen to one or two shingles or it may happen to entire sections.
Clogged gutters: If you don't clean out your gutters after the last autumn leaves fall, this could lead to serious issues later. Your roof may go through freeze and thaw cycles, especially in early winter and early spring, where snow on your roof melts and would normally flow into your gutters and to the ground. But when the gutters are blocked, the water may not be able to leave your roof in a timely manner and can get backed up under your shingles, damaging your roofing in a similar manner to having shingles that curl.
Spacious attics: Having a large attic space can also be a sign that there is something wrong with your roofing. In areas where snow is common, the roofs need to be reinforced with various trusses and beams that have a tendency to get in the way of anyone who wants to use the attic space for something. Some people may saw through these beams and remove them to clear out sufficient space. If you aren't the original homeowner, you might not even realize that this has been done. The roof can remain functional for several years or just several months before collapsing without warning. Since this is something that your homeowner's insurance likely won't cover, it's important to find out now whether this is an issue or not.