This is it – the part of the year most homeowners have prepared for. Fall and winter season are widely considered more difficult for roofs than spring and summer because of one thing: precipitation. During the colder half of the year, rainstorms and hurricanes happen more often, bringing strong winds and massive amounts of rainfall with it. Aside from the extra stress on the roof, it’s also more difficult (and dangerous) to conduct repairs and maintenance during the colder seasons.

Dead leaves

Dead leaves piling on your roof may seem harmless at first glance, but they can cause multiple types of damage if left alone. When dead leaves rot, they provide nourishment for bacteria and fungus, which can cause roof stains and even pose a health hazard. The porous surface of decaying leaves can form a slippery film over the roof surface, making roof inspections dangerous. Dead leaves can also form a dam and force water to flow into gaps between roof panels instead of going straight to gutter. Fortunately, avoiding this problem is just a matter of pushing off dead piles of leaves before they accumulate too much.

Small Mammals

If spring has nesting birds, fall and winter has rodents and other small mammals. These unwanted guests tend to look for a warm, safe place where they can hibernate during winter (your roof). Rodents have sharp teeth that they can use to tear through panels, while larger animals such as raccoons can use their claws. Getting rid of these animals almost always requires help from a professional, since their bites can inflict rabies or debilitating infections.

Snow

Snow is widely regarded as the ultimate threat to roofs during winter season and for good reason. A thick layer of snow distributed throughout the roof area can weigh a few tons, and can pose a real danger to anyone or anything indoors. As if that wasn’t enough, snow can also cause the formation of ice dams, which trap snowmelt and force the water to seep into gaps and cause moisture damage (like how leaves trap rainwater). Getting rid of snow before it reaches a foot deep is the best way to avoid these problems, but it’s also important to have a professional check the integrity of roof supports in case a sudden snowstorm dumps a lot of snow on your house in such a short time.

Keeping track of a different set of problems every season may seem like a troublesome task, but the cost of preventing major roof issues in the first place is a lot more manageable than repairing your roof after the damage has been done.

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