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Roofing Tips: How To Get Your Attic And Skylight Ready For The Winter

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Now that summer's almost over, it's the perfect time to get your home ready for winter. One of the most important areas of the home to inspect, repair or make changes to is the roof. Even if you have a fairly new roofing system in place, heavy snow and damp sleet can all causing problems over time, especially if these things damage your skylight. Also, heat that builds up inside your attic leads to many issues, including mold growth. Here are two tips you can use to get your attic and skylight ready for the winter.

Secure Your Attic in the Fall

Heat that builds up inside your attic over the summer has the potential to create mold inside the room the rest of the year. Holes that form in the ceiling of the attic allows heat from the outside of the home to enter the room. The heat eventually turns the attic's indoor environment humid and damp. Taking time to secure your attic now stops problems before they pop up in the winter. 

First, examine the attic's flooring, walls and ceiling during the daytime. If there are holes in the foundation, sunlight will shine through them. Once you spot openings, mark the areas with a piece of paper or colored chalk. After completing the examination, return to the marked areas and make appropriate repairs with silicone or caulking. 

A Word of Caution

If you suspect that rodents, such as squirrels or rats, created the openings in the attic, have a pest control contractor inspect the room before you close up the holes. You don't want to trap the animals inside the home. Once the contractor says it's okay to move forward, repair the holes in the attic, then proceed to the next repair tips.

Install an Ice and Water Membrane Around Your Skylight

Protecting your skylight from water damage is essential. To do so effectively, install an ice and water membrane all around the base of the skylight. The membrane prevents water and moisture from soaking into the foundation around the skylight. If the skylight becomes compromised by excessive moisture and water, leaks develop around it. 

If you feel comfortable, install the ice and water membrane yourself. You need to purchase roofing nails, a large sheet of ice and water shield material, and a hammer. It's essential that you follow the instructions on the ice and water membrane's packaging before you proceed, or it may fail to protect your skylight this winter. 

The membrane is also made with asphalt, which makes the product water- and moisture-resistant. In addition, the back of the membrane features a sticky glue, which is used to secure it over the roof's foundation.

Be very careful when removing the adhesive from the membrane's back covering. It can stick to everything, so it's a good idea that you only remove the adhesive backing when you're ready to install the membrane.

Here's how you install the ice and water membrane around your skylight:

  • Remove the roofing tiles around the skylight
  • Brush or clean away dead leaves, dirt and animal feces
  • Lay the membrane down, then use a gloved hand to smooth wrinkles, crinkles and folds from the surface of the material
  • Use large shears, scissors or a knife to cut the membrane into long strips
  • Remove the adhesive from the back of the strips membrane, then carefully place them one at a time around the skylight
  • Replace the roofing tiles over the membrane, then secure the tiles with as many nails as you need  

If you find damage foundation, tiles or other problems on your skylight during the ice and water installation, contact your roofer for services right away. 

Getting your home ready for winter begins with repairing or securing your roof and attic. If you need additional help with your roof, call professional roofers today.