Keep your home safe and sound by taking good care of the roof this holiday season. Few things ruin a holiday season as quickly as snowmelt dripping into your attic or mold sprouting from damp, icy walls. Start preparing your roof for winter by following the 5 steps outlined here:

1. Have a trained and trustworthy professional check out your home’s roofing materials for cracks, holes, peeling, gaps, or other signs of damage. For extra peace of mind, get your roof professionally inspected once a year. Avoid roofing scams by choosing a contractor with a verified physical address, a solid track-record, and good online reviews.

2. Clean out and repair gutters and downspouts, making sure they are firmly attached to the building. Gutters and downspouts move melting snow and ice away from sensitive roofing underlayment materials. A few hours spent digging out old leaves and flushing your downspouts with a garden hose can save you a mountain of worries later on.

3. Make sure the attic or crawlspace is properly ventilated and insulated. Gaps in insulation can lead to ice dams, which tend to occur when warm air pools in uninsulated areas. This warm air melts the snow or ice above it, which then rapidly refreezes, often creeping up under roofing materials like shingles and tiles. While inside the attic or crawlspace, check for signs of water intrusion. Discolored insulation and moldy wooden beams are clear indications that there is a leak nearby. Fix any leaks you might find using the appropriate materials.

4. Remove any patches of moss or piles of debris that built up over previous months. These unwanted intruders could lead to ice dams by preventing melting snow from draining away to the gutters. Also check for damage to the rubber sheeting, asphalt shingles, or layered tiles that protect your business from rain and snow. If more than 25% of all roofing materials are damaged, chances are the building needs a new roof.

5. Once the snow starts falling, remove excess amounts using a snow-rake or a broom that has a long handle. Before getting started, make sure the tool you plan to use doesn’t have sharp edges that might damage roofing materials. Also consider stocking up on calcium or magnesium pellets, which can melt snow without causing harm to asphalt shingles.

Familiarize yourself with your home’s roof-related insurance policy before doing any kind of work on the roof. Please use extreme caution and have a second person on hand in case of emergencies – whenever you mount a ladder. With a bit of care and foresight, your small home can weather any storm. Turn to the experts at AROCON for all your professional and personal roofing needs.