Winter roof damage is frustrating. Most of the time, it’s too cold or slippery to address the problem on your own, but you may not always be able to get a roofing crew to your home immediately. Here’s what to do about a few common winter roof damages while you wait for your roofer to come out and fix the problem.
Sagging or Detached Gutters
High winds and heavy snowfall can wreak havoc on your gutters. If you’ve noticed your gutters sagging, or if one end of your gutters has come detached from the side of the house, you’re probably looking for the quickest possible fix.
You should call your roofer as soon as you see a problem with the gutters, especially if one side has come off from your home. If another gust of wind hits, that entire gutter could come off the house. While you’re waiting for your roofer to come out, though, here are a few things you can do to make sure those gutters don’t do any further damage to your home.
If gutters are sagging.
The problem is likely that there’s too much weight on your gutters, or one of the fasteners attaching the gutter to your home has come loose. If you get a clear, warm day that’s not too icy, and you feel safe enough to get the ladder out, you can take a closer look at the problem. If snow and icicles are the problem, you can gently remove them from the gutter to relieve some of the weight. If you’ve lost a fastener, it’s better to just wait for your roofer to come out.
If gutters are detached.
If your gutters have come mostly off of your house, it’s a bigger issue than just sagging. Call your roofer as soon as possible, and push for the earliest repair date that you can. In the meantime, if your gutters are really in bad shape, it’s better to remove the hanging parts so they don’t bend or cause more damage to your home. Again, if you can get a sunny day to safely and gently remove the offending parts, that’s the way to go until your roofer can get out to do the major fix.
Winter storms and high winds can tear missing shingles off the roof. While a few missing shingles isn’t a huge problem, if they’re left over the winter, they can develop into bigger issues and even cause major water damage. The best thing to do when you notice you’ve lost shingles in a winter storm is to call your roofer. There’s not a whole lot you can do in the meantime to remedy the problem, but you can keep a close eye on your attic to make sure you don’t spring any leaks while you’re waiting for your roofer to address the problem.
Ice Dam Leaks
Ice dam leaks are one of the most common winter roof damages. Unfortunately, once winter takes hold, there’s not much you can do in terms of a permanent solution. We’ve got a few articles about specific ways to get rid of ice dams, and how to prevent them from forming, so check those out for helpful tips. In the meantime, if your ice dams have started to cause leaks, start by hauling out your box fans and pointing them right at the leak. That will freeze up the water and stop the leak in its tracks until you can get rid of the ice dams, and get someone out to help you resolve the problem once and for all.
Fallen Trees or Branches
Heavy snowfall and high winds are cause for downed trees and tree limbs. If a tree or tree limb falls on your home and damages your roof, it’s best to first evacuate your home. Call the electric company if any lines were caught up in the fall, and wait to return to your home until you’re given the all-clear. No matter how severe the damage, always call your roofer.
Especially in the winter, it’s not a good idea to try to remove trees or tree branches on your own. If there is a hole in your roof that’s letting in precipitation, you can try to cover it with a tarp, but only if you have a safe way to get up and down from the roof, and the tree hasn’t caused the roof to sag or bend. Otherwise, just wait for your roofer to come out and make the fix. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Winter roof damage is a major inconvenience, and it can be scary, too. If your home has sustained winter roof damage, call the experts at Werner Roofing. We’d be happy to come out and inspect the problem, and offer you a variety of repair solutions. Give us a call at 616-844-5382 or contact us online to let us know how we can help.