Introduction: The Importance of Winter Roof Maintenance
Snow and ice can wreak havoc on your home’s structural integrity, and your roof is no exception. The weather patterns of colder seasons can take a toll on even the most durable roofing systems. Your ability to recognize and address winter roofing issues is key to preventing damage and preserving your home’s value.
Unfortunately, many property owners are unaware of the common damage areas to look at during the winter. Below is a comprehensive list of common winter roofing issues and ways to deal with them.
Problem 1: Ice Dams and Their Impact on Your Roof
Ice dams form when the snow melts on the upper part of your roof and then refreezes as it moves down to the colder edge. As the ice builds up along the eaves, it keeps water from running off your roof. This process continues over time, which leads to water backing up under shingles. The water then leaks into and causes damage to your house.
Solution: Removing Ice Dams with Calcium Chloride
If you already have an ice dam on your roof, a common way to remove ice dams safely is to use calcium chloride. Calcium chloride lowers the freezing point of water, so the ice dams melt quickly.
Problem 2: Condensation and Its Effects on Roofing Systems
One of the biggest threats to your home during winter is condensation. Condensation occurs when warm moist air inside your attic meets the roof’s cold underside that’s exposed to winter temperatures. Condensation can cause mold and mildew growth that damage your roof over time. Condensation also causes moisture to build up within the shingles, which damages them throughout the winter season.
Solution: Improving Attic Ventilation to Prevent Condensation
If you notice your ceiling leaks or see moisture on your windows, you may have condensation in your attic. You can remedy condensation by increasing ventilation throughout your attic.
Problem 3: Leaking Flashing and the Risks to Your Home
Roof flashings are the strip of metal pieces installed around vents and other roof penetrations. A contractor usually installs flashings around chimneys and skylights. The design of the metal strips keeps moisture out of your home by bridging the gap between roofing materials. Flashings do great in the summer season but can be susceptible to damage by the winter’s high winds and snow build-up.
Solution: Regular Inspection and Replacement of Damaged Flashing
A violent enough storm may pull away the strips of flashing and expose your roof to leaks. To stay ahead of issues, inspect your flashing every six months. Additionally, you can check before winter and summer to replace damaged flashing as required.
Problem 4: Icicles and the Hazards They Pose
An icicle is a frozen piece of tapering ice formed by subfreezing temperatures. As neat as they look, icicles are a hazard to your home. The excessive weight of icicles puts extra stress on gutters and may cause them to buckle or crack. Icicles often form because of clogged gutters or faulty spouts. Icicles grow in length if not addressed and can be a danger to you, your family, and your pets.
Solution: Keeping Gutters Clean to Prevent Icicle Formation
To discourage the formation of icicles on your roof, keep your gutters clean. Clear any leaves, twigs, and other debris from your gutters during warm weather.
Problem 5: Damaged Shingles and the Impact of Winter Weather
High winds, snow, ice, and winter rain can take a toll on your roof, causing shingles to loosen, crack, tear, or even get ripped off. Aside from the harsh weather, fallen tree limbs can also damage your roof shingles. As a homeowner, it’s essential to address these issues promptly to preserve your roof’s integrity and maintain your home’s value.
Solution: Pruning Trees and Inspecting Shingles for Damage
To minimize the effects of winter weather on your shingles, prune any overhanging tree branches near your roof. Regularly visually inspect and remove any damaged shingles. Keep in mind that working on a snowy or icy roof can be dangerous; it’s best to hire a licensed contractor to remove hazards and ensure proper water drainage from your roof.
Contact iHome Designs for Expert Roof Inspections and Maintenance
The winter roofing problems discussed above can escalate into serious home catastrophes if not resolved. Regular maintenance and inspections are crucial in extending the life of your roof and protecting your home. Call us at iHome Designs to schedule an inspection and assess the overall health of your roof. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to help you keep your home safe and secure throughout the winter season.