Roof In Bad Shape? Three Ways To Help It Survive The Winter

Ideally, when your roof is in poor shape, you would have it replaced in the fall so you don't have to worry about leaks and further damage when the winter storms roll through. When this is not an option due to budgetary constraints or other circumstances, you might be left "weathering the storm" with a roof that's on its last legs. Here are some ways to help ensure you make it through the winter without major leaks or a cave-in.

Patch up the really bad spots.

Presumably, you'll be replacing the roof in the near future, so there's no need to do a fancy patching job. Simply nailing on an extra layer of shingles over the areas where they are missing or badly decayed is better than nothing. Visit your local home improvement store, and buy some inexpensive, 10-year or 15-year shingles. On a clear day when the roof is dry, climb up there with a bundle of shingles and some roofing nails.

Find areas where the roof looks to be in terrible shape, and simply nail on a sheet of shingles on top of the existing ones. It won't look neat, but it will give you some extra protection through the winter until you can get that roof replaced. Use at least 6 nails along the top and another 6 along the bottom of each shingle sheet to ensure it stays in place.

Get in the habit of snow raking.

Purchase a snow rake, or invest in a longer handle for your garden rake. Whenever snow falls, use the rake to push snow off of your roof. This will accomplish two things. First, it will reduce the load on your roof, which is important if it is in poor shape and at an increased risk of collapsing under heavy snow weight. Second, it will prevent the formation of ice dams from melting snow. Ice dams, which are sheets of ice that form on the edges of a roof, can easily work their way under already ailing shingles and cause leaks.

Up your insulation game.

Invest in a few extra rolls of fiberglass insulation, and add them to your attic. Better insulation will help keep heat from escaping through your roof. This will decrease the heating and cooling cycles that your heat goes through during the winter. Since these cycles lead to increased shingle decay, adding insulation to eliminate them will help ensure your already degraded shingles don't break down any further.

With these three strategies, you stand a better chance of making it through the winter with an ailing roof. Hopefully, by the time spring rolls around, you'll be in a better position to replace the roof entirely.

To learn more, contact a company like R T Weatherproofing & Decking Inc