The best time to prepare your roof for winter is at the end of the summer storm season. You can inspect for possible damage from heavy rains, wind, and hail before the freezing temperatures of winter arrive.

Rain can enter your home in winter because of a small opening, then freeze and expand to create an even larger opening and the potential for major water damage. Similarly,snow can blow behind loose flashing or under compromised tiles. It will then melt in the daytime sun and freeze at night causing further roof issues.

Signs of damage to look for include:

Loose, broken, or worn tiles

Wind and hail can cause roof tiles to break or completely detach from your roof. Replace both broken and missing tiles as soon as possible.

The constant pelting of heavy rain or hail can cause already worn tiles to become too thin to be effective in protecting your roof. Look for discolored or faded tiles, and accumulations of asphalt particles in your gutters.

If you see signs of tile wear, you should consider having them replaced by companies All American Roofing Incorporated like before winter. Freezing temperatures will make thin and worn tiles brittle and susceptible to even more damage from snow and ice accumulations.

Loose or clogged gutters

If you do see asphalt granules in your gutters, you must also clean the gutters thoroughly. Asphalt particles, dirt, leaves, and other debris will cause water to back up in your gutters. The combined weight of the debris and water will cause your gutters to sag and pull away from the wall.

Loose gutters allow water or snow access to the area behind the gutters. As they freeze, they will expand and push the gutters further away from the wall.

Ice may remain between gutter and wall, compromising the integrity of the fascia board to which the gutters are attached. Water can then enter the home either visibly in the form of a leak, or surreptitiously through walls and into the infrastructure of the home.

Loose flashing

This is the thin sheet of metal used around roof edges and chimneys. It can be blown loose by heavy winds, allowing water to enter. Loose flashing should be nailed into place with roofing nails. Silicone sealant should then be applied around the edges of the flashing with a small caulking gun and smoothed to a consistent seal with a duct seal brush or other small brush.

Loose nails

Roofing nails can pop up from temperature variations that cause expansion and contraction of roofing materials. Loose nails should be hammered in and missing nails replaced. Apply a small amount of roofing cement to the secure nail with either a tube in a small caulking gun or a can and brush. This will help to ensure that the loose or missing nail didn't provide an opportunity for water to create a path inside the home.

The end of summer is also the best time to prepare your roof for winter because you won't need to be on your roof in biting winter winds, trying to use products that can't be applied in sub-freezing weather and to avoid slipping off of an icy roof.