Spring Planning for Your Roof
Every winter, Chicago endures a relentless, snow-filled season, resulting in the need for spring planning for roof care. How do you clean up your roof after winter? What happens between winter and the start of warm weather is the key, as we can either end up with a controlled melt or a sudden temperature surge resulting in a 4- to 5-inch rainstorm. Be prepared for what’s to come with these spring roof tips from NIR!
How to Clean Up Roof After Winter
All winter long, you’ve been checking for ice dams, shoveling out hydrants, and clearing vents. But what happens when spring finally arrives, and these larger drifts melt? When you make spring planning for your roof a priority, you can avoid major water issues. To help you clean up your roof after winter, keep these tips in mind:
Know the risks in your area
Find out how susceptible or flood-prone your property is. Consult your local office of emergency management about risks in your area and what kind of warning you can expect if there is a problem.
Get things off the basement floor
If spring flooding is a possibility, your basement is where it will likely occur. Check your basement’s perimeter to see what’s in harm’s way, and move items of value to a higher level. If your property is prone to flooding, buy a sump pump and consider hiring someone to elevate your utilities.
Clean and protect your drains
Can your roof handle all of this water? One of the most important steps for winter roof clean up is to make certain that your drains are clean and free of debris so they can drain properly during any surge of water. If you have a gutter system as either a main source of drainage or as overflow to your building, make certain your downspouts are free and clear of ice and snow. It is common for these areas to be covered during the winter season and/or to turn into blocks of ice, causing the water draining from the roof to back up the downspouts and remain on the roof. This can cause water to migrate into unintended areas and could cause damage to the roof system.
Shovel, shovel, shovel
The farther away you can move the source of the water, the better. Shovel snow away from your property and clean your gutters. You may even want to call in some professionals, such as a plumber and a roofer to make sure you are protected and prepared.
Consider flood insurance
If you think your property could be in danger of flooding for any reason—cracks in the foundation, proximity to a body of water, its location at the bottom of a hill—call your insurance provider and ask about the pros and cons of taking out a separate flood insurance policy.
Policies with the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, are an additional cost but could save you big if you think your risk is great. “If you have flood damage to your property and you don’t have a flood insurance policy, you’re going to have trouble getting your claim paid,” said Michael F. Barry, Vice President of Media Relations at the Insurance Information Institute.
Just be aware that there’s typically a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before your policy goes into effect, so start those talks with your insurance company now. Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
How Do I Know If I Have an Ice Dam?
It is recommended to install a check valve to protect your drains. Flood damage can occur from a backed-up sewage pipe. This handy and inexpensive piece of hardware, also known as a non-return valve, can be installed by a plumber and protects against backflow, allowing water to drain out of your property through a one-way opening and preventing anything from coming back in.
Let NIR Help with Spring Planning for Your Roof!
Spring planning for your roof is a crucial part of roof maintenance. When you opt for our Roof Care Plan®, our experts can help ensure your roof is ready to face the season ahead! Contact NIR at 800-221-ROOF (7663) or use our mobile app to get started with winter roof clean up today!