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Prepare Your Cedar Roof For Winter With These Tips 

Illinois is known for its especially flaky winters. Unfortunately, the overabundance of snow is wearing on your cedar roof. Your roof is the first line of defense for your home and therefore is one of the most important things to take care of. To prevent the snow from infiltrating your house or ruining your roof, here are some tips for preparing it for the winter.

Steps to Prepare Your Cedar Roof for Winter:

1. Inspect your cedar shake- Look for loose, cracked, curling, or missing shingles. Repair the shingles before the temperature starts to drop. If the shingles are damaged, they can allow water to leak through and get into your home. Your shake should be professionally inspected every 5-7 years in order to get the full life expectancy out of the roof.

cedar roof

2. Look at the vents, deck, and flashing- The flashing and vents direct running water off of your home. If these are in bad shape, they will not do their job and the water will build up on top of your roof and freeze.












3. Clean your gutters- If your gutters are full of debris, the water will not be able to flow properly. They will also become very heavy and could possibly bend or fall off from the weight.

clean gutters

4.Remove debris from roof valley- The valley of your roof is the “V” angle where two slopes on the roof meet. These are great spots for leaves, tree branches, or other debris sit. They can block the melted snow from flowing down and cause a leak.

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5. Apply roof preserving solutions- There are many types of roof preserving solutions available to protect your roof. There are oil or water based solutions, some of which include: zinc or copper naphthenate, tributyltin oxide, TCMTB or MTC, copper-8 quinolinolate, or butyl carbamate polyphase. If you are not sure which option is best for your home, ask for advice.

6. Make sure your attic has proper ventilation- The heat from the interior of your home is what warms up your roof and makes the snow melt. If the temperature is not regulated, it can cause snow to melt and ice to form on top of your roof. This creates an ice dam. Although ice dams are less likely to form on cedar roofs, they are much more destructible and can lead to costly repairs.

roof ventilation

7. Clear snow off of the roof with a roof rake- The more snow you can remove, the better. This keeps the snow from weighing down your roof. It also prevents the snow from melting and refreezing on top of your home. Reducing the likelihood of an ice dam or leak into your home. Using a roof rake is best because you can keep your feet on the ground and avoid injuries.

ice dams

Note: NEVER walk on a wet cedar roof. They are very slippery and put you at a high risk of injury.

If there is damage to your cedar roof call a professional to help. Most insurance companies will even cover the cost. If you are in Illinois near the Barrington region, give Highmark Restoration a call at 847-380-3870 or fill out this form.