Six suggestions for preventing weather damage to your roof

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, we could be in for a rough winter. But there are ways that you can protect your roof from the potential ravages of winter, and Consumer Reports (in conjunction with Travelers Insurance) has come up with six valuable tips for homeowners:

  • Trim trees and remove dead branches so they won’t damage your home if they fall due to wind, ice or snow.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts of debris. As the leaves fall, ensure that they haven’t built up in your gutters.
  • Check for roof damage now. What you should look for: bubbling and/or areas with missing gravel on flat roofs, or missing/damaged shingles on sloped roofs.
  • Add extra insulation in the attic to help prevent ice dams. When excessive heat escapes from your home, it can melt the ice and snow on the roof. It will eventually refreeze, which could cause an ice dam. Water would then back up into your house.
  • Check the flashing (weatherproofing material) on the roof to make sure it’s in great condition.
  • If your roof is in need of replacing, consider going with impact-resistant materials. This is particularly true in areas that can sustain hail damage, such as Central Illinois.

“Many types of severe weather can put added stress on roofs, from high-speed winds ripping off shingles, heavy debris and ice getting caught in gutters, to the weight of excess snow,” Travelers’ Insurance specialist Jim Gustin told Consumer Reports. “There’s no better time to inspect roofs for damage, make any necessary repairs and clean the gutters to help prevent some of the most common causes of damage that occur.”