How to Prepare Your Roof for Pacific Northwest Winters

There’s an old saying: “In the Pacific Northwest, there are two seasons: rain and no rain.”

Fall and the Pacific Northwest rainy season are just around the corner. Now is a great time to perform some important home maintenance tasks to ensure that the roof over your head will protect you and your loved ones in the cold, wet months to come. Scheduling a free no obligation roof inspection right before the winter season is highly recommended. If any damage is found, it can quickly be repaired before the onset of the upcoming rain and snow.

We’re going to look at a few things the average homeowner can do to prepare their roof for wintertime.


Pacific Northwest Winters

Check the Flashing

The flashing of a roof consists of galvanized steel or an aluminum material that covers roofing joints. It is critical to preventing water and moisture from entering your attic and causing significant damage.

Check for areas where the metal flashing is rusted, raised up, or loose. This could indicate an area where water and ice can seep up under the shingles of the roof.  If you plan on fixing the loose flashing yourself, be sure to cover each new screw head with roofing cement to prevent water from seeping in.


Clean the Gutters

A significant amount of pine needles, leaves, and other dirt and debris can collect in the rain gutters over the course of a few weeks. If it’s not cleaned out, it can build up into a quasi-dam and push water up under the shingles thereby causing wood rot or ice damage.

This, in turn, can lead to minor roof leaks that may not be immediately obvious. As the winter months go by, the moisture will leak into your home and cause significant damage to the wiring, HVAC, insulation, ceiling, and even walls.

If you live in a neighborhood where there are lots of trees, you may have to clean your gutters for several weekends in a row until all the leaves have fallen.


Check the Attic

Right after the first rains start falling from the sky, grab your flashlight and head up into the attic.  This is the time where you might find a minor leak before it turns into a major one. Look for areas of standing water, moisture, or wet-looking wood beams or walls.

Inspect the insulation and see if you can find any areas of moisture. Shine your light at the intersection where the walls meet the ceiling, window sills, and areas that might be hard to reach. If you use your attic as a storage area, look for cardboard boxes that feel wet to the touch. All of these signs can indicate there’s a leak somewhere in your roof.

A professional roof inspection could also find areas where you could save money on your monthly heating and a/c bills. A properly vented attic is critical to keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.


Trim Your Trees

Failure to perform regular tree maintenance is often the underlying cause of roof damage after a large winter storm. The trees on your property may have dead or heavy branches that could easily fall onto your roof in a windstorm. When winter finally arrives, the weight of any snowfall can cause even the strongest of tree branches to come crashing down on top of your roof.

Trimming your trees will also limit the number of dead leaves that can get stuck in your gutter.  Even if you just cleaned your gutter a few days ago, all it takes is one wind or rainstorm to fill them right back up with leaves and other debris.


Schedule a Free Roof Inspection

Inspecting the roof of your home is best left to the professionals. Obvious safety issues aside, the trained eye of a roof inspector can catch damage that the average homeowner might miss.

If your roof is due for its annual inspection, or you haven’t had your roof inspected in a while, give us a call at (253) 564-2292. At ACME Roofing we have over 22 years of experience helping Tacoma and Seattle homeowners protect themselves and their loved ones from the cold and wet Pacific Northwest winters.