Our Northwest Indiana winters offer beautiful, snow-capped landscapes, chimneys piping smoke on cold nights, and the company of loved ones enjoying holiday festivities. Unfortunately, these comforts can come at a price if you experience a strong storm that leads to roof damage.

Your home’s roof is especially vulnerable to damage during harsh winters, and it’s important to do everything you can to stay ahead of the weather and respond to issues as swiftly as possible. Damaged roofs can affect your entire home, so it’s crucial to protect your roof before and after strong seasonal storms. Here are some tips to help prepare you for the challenges of a winter storm and how to respond when damage occurs.

Be Proactive

The first thing you can do to prevent roof damage during winter storms is to monitor the weather during the winter season. When a strong storm approaches, block out some time in advance of its arrival to prepare your roof. You’ll also want to be prepared for several consecutive days of freezing temperatures. Knowing the weather predictions ahead of time can help you identify and address areas on your roof where ice is likely to build up.

Here are a few specific tasks you can complete to prepare your roof for a winter storm:

Make sure your roof is clear of debris before snowfall

Snow will add extra weight and obscure the objects, putting stress on framing and possibly warping the structure. If possible, use a tool like a snow rake or other grabbing mechanism. This can allow you to remove debris from the safety of the ground. If your roof isn’t easily accessible, call a professional to help you clear it.

Clear any branches that may fall during a storm

Fallen branches can cause a wide range of issues, from broken shingles to a complete roof collapse.

Make sure your attic is properly insulated

Check for any gaps and areas without proper coverage. Do this while verifying that your baffle vents aren’t obstructed if you have a vented soffit. A well-insulated roof can help distribute heat evenly throughout its surface, ensuring that snow and ice don’t build up in one specific area. Proper insulation also prevents condensation which will occur if the warm and cold air masses are allowed to meet.

Check for any damages

You’ll want to examine your roof before the storm hits. Make sure there aren’t any weak points that will make it especially vulnerable.

Take pictures

If you need to hire a contractor to repair storm damage, an expert can help with assessing the repairs your roof needs after the storm hits.

Check your insurance coverage

You’ll want to review your home insurance policy to determine whether it covers winter storm damages to your roof. If you don’t have an insurance policy, consider purchasing one. Home insurance will protect you from having to pay large sums of money if and when repairs are necessary.

A house taking preventative measures against winter storm damage.

Respond As Soon As You Can

Sometimes, you may do everything you can to protect your roof during a snow storm, but Mother Nature can still throw a nasty surprise your way to complicate matters. Even if you’re prepared, you may experience damage from a winter storm.

The first thing you should do after a winter storm is to walk around your house and assess any potential damage areas. Next, remove snow from your roof, but only if it’s safe to do so and you possess the proper tools. If you own a one-story home with a low-pitched roof, a snow rake is a great option to help you pull snow drifts off your roof. No matter how many precautions you take, you might notice a series of issues that you can’t address by yourself — that’s what the team at J & B West Roofing and Construction is here for!

When to Contact a Professional

If your home is more than one story high and you aren’t physically able to clear snow from your roof — or if you’ve noticed damage to your roof caused by a winter storm — it’s time to call a professional. Our team of experts can help with both the cleanup and repair of your damaged roof. We can also help protect your roof against future complications.

If you need a professional consultation or repair work for your roof following a strong winter storm, contact J & B West Roofing and Construction today. We provide Northwest Indiana with a full range of roofing services, work with all major insurance companies, and are the only Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor in the area. We’ll help you restore your roof to its full operational condition. More importantly, we'll also ensure it stays protected against future winter storm threats.