Winter weather has the potential to create ice dams, loosen shingles with high winds, and overall cause your roof to take on more wear than normal. Thankfully, there are ways that you can keep your home's roof in good shape throughout the winter. Here are four things you can do throughout the season:

Clean Out Your Gutters

Cleaning out your gutters after the leaves have fallen is a crucial step to prevent damage from happening to your oof. All the debris will eventually cause problems with how water drains from your roof. In the winter, water can collect and freeze, which will cause even more problems. Melting water will not be able to flow to the downspouts, and it can even pool to the point where it gets underneath the bottom row of shingles.

Visually Inspect Your Flashing

Flashing is designed to protect your roof when an item sticks out from it, such as a chimney or exhaust pipe. In order for flashing to work, it needs to be firmly attached to your roof and the protruding item to prevent water from getting behind the flashing.

You can visually inspect your flashing by looking for parts that are not sticking to your roof anymore. These sections will need to be reattached or replaced to ensure that a good seal is formed on your roof.

Remove Excess Snow

You may run into an issue where excess snow is collecting on your roof after a snow storm passes through. Snow has the potential to melt and form ice dams if you are not careful, which can cause damage to the shingles. For example, water will freeze underneath shingles, which will cause them to lift off the surface of the roof and expose the roof deck.

Consider purchasing a snow rake that allows you to easily clear the snow from your roof while standing on the ground. This is the safest way to remove snow during the winter since walking on the roof can be very dangerous.

Investigate Icicles When They Form

While icicles may look neat when they form, they put additional weight on the gutters that can cause damage. Icicles can also be a sign that the gutters are not working properly since they could be forming by water flowing over the top of the gutters.

Clear the icicles away after they form by using your roof rake, and then have the gutters inspected for potential problems. You may be surprised to see collected debris that is preventing water drainage. Contact a local roofing contractor for more information and assistance.