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The Home Depot

Roof Winterization Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Seasonal > Roof Winterization Guide
Roof Winterization Guide

When the long warm days of summer start to shorten and you notice a distinctive chill in the air, there are probably things that you know to do. You probably start packing up the summer clothes and pulling out your winter sweaters. You might even have your car checked out to keep it running through cold winter weather. But, did you know you can prepare your roof for the winter, too?


Your roof is part of the finely tuned machine that is your home. It helps keep your house warm, protect you and your home from water damage, and protect your from bad weather and unwanted wildlife.


If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not you should take the steps to winterize your roof, we are here to help. This roof winterization guide will teach you everything you need to know!

  1. Your roof is part of the finely tuned machine that is your home.

    1.Eliminate Low-Hanging Tree Branches and Other Vegetation

    During the winter, ice and snow can weigh down trees and branches. That’s a problem if they happen to be located near your home. The last thing you want to hear during a winter storm is a crash that means a branch has taken a tumble onto your roof. This could also have an impact on the cable and phone lines that go into your home. Save yourself some stress, and have branches trimmed back before Mother Nature does it for you.

  2. 2.Check for Pests

    It’s a good idea to check your roof for signs of pest infestation as part of your winterization plan. That’s because things like mice, squirrels, and raccoons might see your home as a welcome respite from cold winter weather. These kinds of animals can cause big, expensive problems for you if they decide to call your house home. Check your roof for any signs that animals have already taken up residence somewhere up there. You should also check for weak spots that a chilly animal might exploit to get warm.

  3. 3.Consider heat cables

    Heat cables help your roof and gutter system perform their best, even in freezing temperatures. The cables are installed strategically on your roof to help ice and snow melt away without damaging your roof or home. Consider them if you notice spots where there’s not a lot of direct sunlight available or spots where it’s easy for water to collect.

  5. 4.Remove fallen leaves and other debris

    If you have a lot of trees and plants on your property, you may notice that during the fall your roof quickly becomes covered in leaves, acorns and branches. It’s really important that you get those things off of your roof as soon as you can. Leaves and other debris can help trap moisture on your roof, which can lead to other problems. They can also clog your gutters, which leads to the final point…

  6. 5.Clean your gutters

    Even if you don’t have a lot of leafy green trees on your property, it’s important that you clean your gutters as part of your roof winterization process. Your gutters are important to the overall health of your whole home. They help ensure that water flows away from your home so that it can’t do any damage. However, if they’re clogged they can’t do their jobs. Clean your gutters yourself using some water and a hose, or bring in professionals for a more detailed gutter cleaning.


    You couldn’t live comfortably in your home without a roof – so take proper care of it. Start your winterization process in the fall and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your warm home once the wintertime arrives.

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