Now that the first snow storm has hit (or second if you count the one in October..), it is time to think about winter maintenance.
One common problem this time of year is ice dams. An ice dam is when melted water freezes at the roof overhang causing a build up of water and ice on the roof. The water that is no longer able to drain can become a leak in your ceiling. Besides the ceiling, your roof risks being damaged by the ice and moisture.
Ice dams can be caused by poor insulation. If too much heat is escaping from the attic, the snow on the roof can melt and flow down to the overhang where it refreezes. You might think that it is your roof that needs to be repaired when, in fact, it is your home's insulation that needs to be improved. Frozen and clogged gutters also do not help and keeping them clear of debris and ice can help. Finally, keeping the roof clear of heavy snow build up can help as well.
The Energy Star website has some excellent tips for preventing ice dams here.