As a Canadian homeowner, you know all too well the damage harsh weather can have on the exterior of your home. More often than not, however, you focus your snow and ice removal efforts on the areas of your home that are at eyesight level–like your driveway, porch, and windows. But, have you ever thought to look up and see how your roof is faring under the weight of all that snow and ice? Have you thought, how to maintain your roof this winter?

If you are like the average homeowner, you may not think of your roof as vulnerable to cold weather conditions. However, even the best roofing materials have a load capacity that can be compromised by the weight of heavy snow and ice. Left to linger on your shingles, heavy snow and ice can take years off the life of your roof, create damaging leaks, and in the worst case, collapse your roof.

You can maintain your roof this winter, by following these surefire winter maintenance tips, and avoid costly roof repairs:

1. Assess the situation using binoculars: Climbing up onto your roof after a heavy snowfall or ice storm is not in your best interest. To get a good look at what is going on up there, pull out your binoculars instead. More than likely, you will be able to see any issues and address them before they become problems.
2. Take out your rake: In most single and 1 ½ story homes, a long-handled rake is effective in removing snow and ice from the shingles along the perimeter of your roof.
3. Call a professional when necessary: If you live in a two-story home, clearing heavy snow from your roof will require skills and tools the average homeowner does not have. Be safe and smart by hiring a company that specializes in snow removal.
4. Install a radiant heat system before winter arrives: Installing an ice melting system beneath the shingles of your roof is a smart way to keep your roof from freezing and accumulating heavy snow loads.

Armed with these winter-savvy tips, you are in the best position to help your roof survive winter in tiptop shape.