Top Winter Care Tips for a Durable Roof

As the cold weather rolls in, every homeowner should turn their attention to winterizing their roof against heavy snow, ice dams, and other seasonal damage. Implementing preventative care and diligent inspections now will pay dividends through a durable, long-lasting roof that withstands winter’s punishing effects.

Proper winter care can extend your roof’s longevity, preventing costly repairs down the road. This comprehensive winter roof maintenance guide explores best practices for keeping your roof in peak condition when the temperatures drop.

Follow these winter care tips to maintain roof integrity when you need it most:

Control Ice Dam Formation

Ice dams form when snow accumulation starts melting from heat escaping the home’s attic space. This meltwater then refreezes at the roof edge, preventing further drainage and causing a backup under shingles. Left unchecked, ice dams enable leaks, rot, and structural issues in the roof.

Installing roof rakes allows the removal of excess snow before it melts and refreezes. Apply adhesive membrane or ice barrier underlayment in vulnerable areas so the ice has trouble forming an anchoring bond. Finally, regularly clear leaf debris from gutters and test downspouts to facilitate drainage.

Insulate Attics and Ceilings

Attics act as buffers between living spaces and the roof. Insufficient insulation allows indoor heat to reach the roof’s underside, leading to snowmelt and ice dams. Ensure attics and ceilings contain enough evenly distributed, fluffy insulation to meet your climate zone’s recommendations. Top off existing insulation to the recommended R-value if needed. Attic insulation of at least R-49 will do a better job of holding in warm air.

Inspect and Repair Roof Shingles

roof shingles covered in snow
Freezing and thawing snow are hard on your roof’s shingles.

The expansion and contraction roof shingles undergo during winter subjects them to new stresses. Temperature fluctuations, snow weight, and ice dams strain roofing shingles over the winter.

Inspect all roof surfaces in the fall for cracked, warped, or missing shingles needing replacement before heavy snow arrives. Look for protective mineral granule loss and exposed nail heads needing resealing too. Addressing damage promptly better equips shingles to endure winter extremes.

Clear Gutters and Downspouts

When rain gutters fill with leaves in autumn, winter snowmelt has no open drainage path off the roof. Water backups wet fascia, flashings, and roof sheathing while raising ice dam risks. Make sure gutters stay clear through fall and regularly test downspouts for flow. Divert gutter discharge away from the foundation too. Proper drainage prevents avoidable moisture issues in the foundation and siding of the home.

Trim Back Overhanging Trees

While picturesque, mature trees too close to the home threaten the roof when laden with winter snow and ice. Weak, over-extended branches readily break, potentially causing serious damage. Survey trees near the house and strategically trim back branches that could fracture under snow weight this winter. Remove any broken limbs found dangling over the roof as well.

Tackle Small Repairs

Though critical for roof longevity, small issues often get dismissed for later handling. Heading into winter, address minor repairs like sealing exposed nail heads, re-attaching loose shingles, patching leaks, or toggling up sagging gutters. Small preventative fixes now prevent accelerated deterioration when harsh weather arrives. Tackle bigger issues needing professional intervention too.

Reinforce Vulnerable Areas

Certain roof areas endure more extreme winter weather than others. Reinforce vulnerable zones like valleys, eaves, low-slope sections, and chimneys against ice dams and snow load with adhesive membrane underlayments. Slope roofs for proper drainage. Install protective metal flashings around chimneys, skylights, and vents too. An ounce of preparation in the right places saves major headaches.

Inspect Roofs Regularly

While tackling noticeable issues before winter hits, examining the roof closely at least twice annually remains essential. Spring and fall roof inspections better equip homeowners to identify and address small problems before they compound into major repairs.

If unable to safely access the roof yourself, or if you’re unsure of your ability to spot roofing issues, hire certified professionals to undertake thorough assessments and recommend necessary work. While vigilant DIY maintenance helps preserve your roof, an annual professional roof inspection lends an experienced eye to spot concerns early before they intensify. Certified roofers determine repair needs, identify leak sources, and advise on best winter care practices for your roof type and climate. They can also safely access tricky portions of pitched roofs using proper safety precautions.

Brace for Damage Control

Despite rigorous roof preparation, unexpected damage still arises after high wind, heavy snow, and ice storms. Store a winter roof repair kit containing plywood, tarps, nails, melting compound, shovels, patch materials, gloves, and other rapid response items where readily accessible. This allows temporary protection until proper fixes after storms pass. Don’t let small holes lead to extensive interior water damage. Preparedness pays.

Enhance Roof Ventilation

Proper attic and roof ventilation alleviate damaging moisture accumulation over time, especially with ice dams and snow piling up outside vents. Ensure existing vents remain unblocked going into winter while staying alert to condensation buildup. Consider adding more vents or special snow-resistant vent models if concerned about adequate airflow. Preventing attic moisture improves roof lifespan.

Hire Storm Damage Experts


professional roof inspection
After severe weather events, a professional roof inspection can help you locate and resolve damage.

Once intense winter weather impacts the roof, reputable local roofing contractors can conduct inspections immediately after a storm if you observe leaks, structural issues, or extensive damage. Trying temporary fixes yourself often worsens problems or voids roof warranty coverage. Let qualified storm damage experts properly identify and resolve all repair needs. Documentation also aids insurance claims later.

Implement a Weather Protection Plan

For homes frequently plagued by extreme winter weather damage, develop strategic multi-year plans addressing vulnerable areas. This may involve completely replacing roofing, improving attic insulation, removing hazardous trees, installing protective membranes, or drainage solutions to tackle identified weaknesses. Custom plans enhance roof resilience while providing peace of mind when facing the elements.

Guard What Lies Beneath

As the first line of defense sheltering your home, durable roofs able to withstand winter’s ravages prove essential. Follow these preventative care and maintenance tips so your roof enters the cold season ready to stand strong. Address lingering issues now before snow, ice, wind, and frigid temperatures arrive. Implement smart winter-proofing for maximum roof longevity through whatever weather lies ahead. Protect what lies beneath this season by properly caring for invaluable overhead shelter.

If you need repairs, a professional inspection, or professional guidance after a storm, the roof experts at Lednor Home Solutions have the skills and experience to help. Contact them to  schedule a free estimate.

Spring Savings!
20% OFF + $150 OFF
+ no money down, no interest for one year† | Hurry, Offer Ends 6/30/2024
I authorize Lednor Home Solutions to contact me about our products via phone, email, or text. You also understand we use an autodialing phone system, and my consent is not required to obtain a free estimate - I can call 888-543-5638 instead. We will never share your personal information with 3rd parties for marketing purposes or spam you. You can opt out at any time. Message/data rates apply. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Terms | Privacy Policy


1 Million+ Satisfied Customers Nationwide

I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet just replaced our roof and we could not be more satisfied. The crew showed up early, worked all day and stayed late, were professional and caring regarding the project and the surrounding impact it had on our property and home. They completed the roof quickly and it looks simply amazing!
VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.

20% OFF + $150 OFF

We work hard with each manufacturer to offer our customers the best promotions monthly.

Find a Location

Serving a Location Near You


Join the Lednor Home Solutions Family

We're seeking fun, outgoing, and confident individuals who enjoy winning to join our team. Lednor Home Solutions is an equal opportunity employer and we operate a safety first & drug-free workplace focused on employee safety. Great pay and benefits, apply today!