Winter can cause a lot of problems for your roof. With the deceptively heavy weight of snow buildup, the potential for leaks, the dangers of ice dams, and more, there’s no shortage of winter roofing issues that can arise for your roof during these frigid months. Your roof is essential to the protection, comfort, and security of your home, and you want to ensure that you can sidestep problems whenever possible. Luckily, most common winter roofing issues can be avoided, so long as you’re prepared.
Here’s what you need to know about some of the most common winter roofing issues that you’ll likely encounter, as well as what you can do to prevent them.
#1. Ice Dams
Ice dams are solid masses of ice that build up on the edges of your roof due to a melting and refreezing process. This is caused by temperature differences on the surface of your roof. Warm air from your attic can rise, the sun can shine down, and snow on the main surface of your roof melts. However, the edges of your roof that are colder cause the snowmelt to refreeze. This builds up into an ice dam.
Left alone, ice dams can wreak havoc on your roofing system. They can tear your gutters off your home, they can cause roofing leaks, they can cause mold, and icicles can break off and hit people, hurting them. Pretty as ice dams are, they’re a winter roofing issue that need to be taken care of as soon as possible, before they get the chance to cause more serious damage.
Luckily, you can prevent ice dams in a number of ways. You can sidestep this common winter roofing issue by clearing your roof after each snow storm, by insulating your attic, and by having heat cables installed.
#2. Snow Buildup
Snow-covered roofs are beautiful, but they can also be dangerous. Snow can be much, much heavier than it looks when it’s wet. Excessive snow on your roof can cause serious damages, even causing roofs to collapse inwards, in more severe cases. This is made worse by ice buildup, too.
Not only can snow buildup damage your roof, but it can also create serious risks, such as snow loads abruptly sliding off. These can hit people, your property, or animals, and seriously hurt and damage them.
You can avoid this winter roofing issue by having excessive snow removed from your roof. You can use a roof rake to do this, or hire a professional who has the training, experience, and equipment in order to do the job safely and efficiently.
Condensation occurs when there’s inadequate ventilation in your home. When the warm air inside your home meets the cold surface of your roof, the result is condensation. Usually, this winter roofing issue isn’t too serious, however, left alone, it can escalate. The moisture from condensation can build up in your shingles, damaging them. Condensation can also lead to the development of mold and mildew. Additionally, condensation can cause structural damage and rot.
You can prevent this common winter roofing issue by ensuring that your attic is properly insulated, in order to prevent the warm air from escaping your home.
#4. Flashing Leaks
Your roof flashing refers to the pieces that bridge the gaps between your roofing materials and any exposed subsurfaces, keeping moisture out. Flashing is vulnerable to ice and high winds, making flashing leaks a common winter roofing issue. Sometimes, something as simple as packed snow can loosen your flashing, given how vulnerable and how exposed they are.
During the winter months especially, your flashing can pull away, allowing moisture into the areas they’re supposed to be protecting, and causing flashing leaks and water damage.
You want to ensure that you routinely have your flashing checked. This is especially important before the snow and ice hit.
#5. Strong Winds
Snow and ice aren’t the only winter weather conditions that can cause winter roofing issues. It’s common for big storms to be accompanied by strong winds. The stronger and faster the wind, the higher the risk for loosened shingles. Strong winds can also cause broken tree branches to hit your roof.
While there’s nothing you can do to predict or prevent strong winds, you can help prevent damage by ensuring that your roof is in good condition going into the winter months. If you notice shingles in your yard or that have been blown askew on your roof, you’ll want to call your local roofing company to come out and repair your roof.
Do You Need Help With Winter Roofing Issues?
KangaRoof offers professional roofing repair services. If winter’s hurt your roof, we can put it back together. If your roof’s sustained damage, contact us. We’ll come out and inspect the damage, and then let you know whether or not it can be repaired, and if it can, what those repairs entail. Contact KangaRoof to schedule your free roofing inspection! We’ll hop to it.