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How to "Idaho-proof" your roof

There are a million things to love about living in Idaho, but one of the downsides is the damage that can be done to your home by sometimes harsh and rapidly changing weather. Idaho homeowners need high-quality roofs to protect their homes from the elements. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to Idaho-proof your roof.


Idaho winters can really put your roof to the test. It’s important to make sure your roof is in good shape and prepared to withstand frequent heavy snowstorms. As winter approaches, make sure your roof is ready by looking for the following things:

Check For Weak Spots

If there are any weak spots or damages in your roof, you’ll want to take care of them before winter. The heavy snow during the winter could turn a small roof issue into a major problem, leading to major damages to both the interior and exterior of the house. That’s why it’s best to fix the problem before the snowy season arrives.

To check for damages in your roof, inspect the ceilings in your home. Look for any signs of water, including stains, leaks, and mold. Signs of water on your ceiling are a sign that your roof needs repairs. It’s best to get that taken care of as soon as possible.

To make sure you catch any signs of damage, you may want to consult a professional. An expert in roofing can inspect your home and determine if you need an upgrade to your roof.

Clear Gutters

Gutters should be cleared out regularly. This is especially important before the first snowfall of the year. If your gutters are still blocked from fall leaves, the build-up from heavy snow creates too much weight placed on the roof, causing it to bend or warp.

Trim Nearby Overhanging Branches

The heavy snowfall in Idaho weighs down old, dead branches, and if these branches are above your roof, your roof could be in danger. Fallen branches are one of the most common causes of roof damage. As winter approaches, trim any nearby trees of heavy branches. If the tree is in your neighbor’s yard, you may want to discuss options for splitting the cost of tree trimming. Just because a tree is in your neighbor’s yard doesn’t mean it can’t fall on your roof.

Snow Guards And Heat Cables

Snow guards and heat cables both prevent large amounts of snow from building up and damaging your roof or gutters from the weight. Heat cables can be added to areas of your roof that don’t receive a lot of sunlight. The heat will melt the snow, keeping the snowpack on top of your home to a small amount.

If you have a steep roof made of metal, slate, or tile, you should have a snow guard to protect your home in winter. Snow guards allow snow to gradually slide off your roof instead of all at once in an avalanche. Snow guards are extremely helpful in protecting homes in Idaho, especially in the highest elevation areas.

Strong Insulation

Idaho summers can get very hot, while winters get very cold. Because of this, Idaho homes need top-quality insulation to keep the temperature comfortable while saving money on heating and cooling bills. To keep your home insulated, add insulation material to your roof.

If your home is over 80 years old and has not been updated, you may not have any insulation in your roof. To prepare for the extreme temperatures, it’s a good idea to look into your insulation options. Adding roof insulation can reduce energy use by 10-20%, which adds up to a lot of savings.

One of the most effective types of insulation is spray foam. It’s long-lasting, durable, and does a great job at keeping your home at a moderate temperature. A cheaper but slightly less effective option is batt insulation. This type of insulation is an excellent addition to an uninsulated roof. However, it won’t be quite as effective as spray foam.


The harsh weather in Idaho means your roof can wear out faster than roofs in other regions. Because of this, Idaho homeowners should invest in the most durable roofs to protect their homes in the long term. Choose a roofing material while keeping in mind that it will need replacing sooner rather than later.

Asphalt shingles typically last 15-30 years, but there is a range in quality. Choose the highest quality shingles to make your roof last the full 30 years. Metal roofs are more durable and can last 30-50 years. This type of roof also requires less maintenance. Because of the greater durability, metal roofs will cost a bit more. Slate roofs can last an entire century and are able to withstand any type of weather. Slate roofs cost more, but the quality is worth the price.

Fire Resistance

Idaho is a part of the Great Basin Desert, which means the weather is dry, causing frequent and dangerous wildfires. In fact, 36% of the state’s population lives in high-risk wildfire areas. You don’t need to live in fear of your home burning in a wildfire, though. There are things you can do to make your home more fire-resistant. A fireproof roof can prevent significant damage in the case of a fire.

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material, making up nearly 80% of the roofing market. This type of roofing material can be fire-resistant, but only if installed with a fire-proof underlayment.

Slate is the most fire-resistant roofing material, although it’s also very heavy. If your home can handle the weight and you don’t mind paying a larger sum for a top-quality roof, slate could be a good option for you. Clay, concrete tile roofs, and metal are also non-combustible materials that will protect your home from fire. Discuss with a roofing expert which material will work best for your home.

Talk To A Roofing Professional

The best way to prepare your roof to withstand all the elements is to consult with a roofing expert. Smith Roofing can work with you to discuss any repairs, siding, or gutter work your roof might need. They can also help you determine what kind of roof will best protect your home. Reach out to begin weatherproofing your home today.

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