Winter is Coming. What Shape is Your Roof In?


Winter is a tough season for roofs. But, it doesn’t have to be with these tips from Sunrun!


Guest post from Sunrun, a leading home solar energy & solar panel company

Winter is a tough season for roofs. In snowy areas, snow and ice add a lot of weight to the roof, and excess water can cause leaks. In areas where there’s a big winter temperature swing between day and night, those temperature variations cause the roof material to expand and contract, putting stress on the materials. Few roofs last longer than 25 years – with most having an average useful life of roughly 20-50 years, depending on materials, maintenance, local weather and other factors.

Before winter arrives in full force, it’s a good idea to perform a roof inspection. The good news is that they don’t take very long.


How Do I Know If I Need A New Roof?
Inspect it! Luckily, if you have an attic, doing an inspection on your own is fairly easy. According to GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, there are four key things to look for while doing an inspection of your roof from the attic:

1. Water leaks
2. Ventilation – make sure vents are clear.
3. Animal damage
4. Structural problems

If you don’t have an attic, an outdoor visual inspection is the next best thing. You can do this from the safety of your yard without the risk of going up on a ladder.

Which Roof Type Is Best?
If you need a new roof, how do you choose which type of roofing material to use? Asphalt shingles are by far the most common in the U.S. There’s also tile, wood, stone, and metal, each offering their own pros and cons. has a pretty detailed overview here.

If you’ve been considering home solar, note that most solar companies won’t install on certain roof types. Why? Usually it’s because either the roofing material is too fragile (in the case of clay tile for example) or the material is too difficult to seal up properly after the solar installation. The most common roof type – asphalt shingle – is ideal for solar installations. Sunrun offers an overview of our qualification process here.


I’ve Been Considering Home Solar – How Should I Factor That In?
If you’ve ever thought about adding solar to your home, you’ll first need a healthy, stable roof as a foundation. For that reason, it’s a great idea for homeowners who are considering a roof replacement to consider going solar during that process. In fact, a great home solar company will actually work with your roofing contractor on your behalf to make sure your new roof is solar-ready. Sunrun has a strategic partnership with Power Home Remodeling, one of the fastest growing home remodeling companies in the U.S. Together, we offer a streamlined process for Power’s roofing customers that decide to go solar with Sunrun. Power Home Remodeling has also been designated a Master Elite® Dealer by GAF, a recognition only given to companies with a track record of quality and professionalism.

Have a question about solar power that isn’t answered here? Tweet @Sunrun and use the hashtag #SolarRealEstate.

Victoria Keichinger is the Vice President, Brand Marketing for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. When she's not managing national media and advertising for the Coldwell Banker brand at work, she finds herself most at home in Jersey City, NJ with her pre-school crush turned spouse and son. A true Francophile, she loves to travel and will go anywhere there are ski slopes.

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  1. Vince Hough
    December 6, 2016

    Hi Ms. Keitchinger

    I like your guest post about inspecting your roof in preparation for the winter. Very timely information!

    For my part, I am looking for an exclusive with a leading real estate broker to offer my book on residential solar energy (see website link). This book is a guide to help homeowners understand whether solar energy will actually help them save money. Your new home-buying customers would be an ideal audience for this book.

    I can offer you the book to share with your new home-buying customers as a value added gift. The book retails for $12.95, but I would be happy to provide it to you at wholesale cost. I think it would be a great value added service similar to the information that you provide on your website to enhance the brand value of Coldwell Banker.

    I would be pleased to provide you with a free copy of the book, if you would like to research it in more detail. The web link above also contains some reviews of the book, which I think you will find helpful. I would very much appreciate an indication of your interest on behalf of Coldwell Banker.

    Vince Hough

    • Victoria Keichinger
      December 6, 2016

      Hi Vince — Thank you very much for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed this guest post from Sunrun. What a great resource you’ve created for those interested in learning more about solar energy. Keep up the great work on this initiative and we wish you all the best!

  2. Vince Hough
    December 6, 2016

    Thanks, Victoria!

    Please let me know if you would be interested in a guest post for your blog that outlines the various residential solar options available nationwide. I could draw on the material in the book to provide a concise summary of the six main alternatives.



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