It still may be warm and sunny where you live, but fall and winter are on their way to your area. In fact, depending on where you live, you can experience snow as early as October and with ice and freezing temperatures on your roof. It is essential to make sure your roof is ready for this cold, harsh, and freezing weather of winter. Here are some tips to help you check and make sure your roof is ready for the upcoming winter and its associated weather.

Check the Condition of Your Shingles

The shingles that are upon your roof are the first barrier of defense against water and weather getting into your roof's underlayers and potentially into your attic. A roof made of asphalt shingles, which are common in many areas of the country, will not last as long as other roofing materials. They generally only have a working life up to approximately 20 years. Watch your roof's shingles closely and look for any signs of curling up on the edges of your shingles, usually on the side of the roof that faces the sun. This area of your roof is likely to show wear first.

Also look for any missing or cracked shingles and have them replaced as soon as possible. You can tell when your shingles are nearing the end of their life because they will begin to shed a great deal of their protective granules. You will find these granules in your roof's gutters and deposited out of your roof's downspouts at the end of a heavy rain storm.

Add Weather Protection

If you find that your roof needs replacement, this provides you with a chance to make sure your roof has water and ice barrier installed beneath the shingles. Your roofing contractor will need to remove the old shingles before installing the new, but this is recommended to ensure a longer-lasting roof. Installing an ice and water barrier will help keep water from seeping into your roof during winter and if you have any ice dam formation occurring on your roof.

As an additional method to protect against ice dams and the damage they cause, you can install heat cables to melt the ice from your roof, especially on its edges where ice dams form. Place these heating cables in a zig-zag pattern at the edge of your roof. But be sure you also install the heating cables into the gutter and down your roof's downspouts. Neglecting to place the heating cables in the drainage system can cause the water to freeze again in the gutters and downspouts, rendering them useless. Contact a service, like Emerald Roofing, for more help.