Winter brings with it cooler temperatures and the potential for major roofing issues. There are certain problems that every homeowner will face during the winter, as well as certain solutions and prevention tactics that can be used to avoid roof damage. Freezing temperatures, ice, snow, and moisture can all damage your roof, and they’ll do it subtly enough that you might not notice until the spring melt. Below are some of the more common problems that strike roofs in the winter as well as their solutions.
Residential roofs are particularly prone to condensation because of the living conditions of those living in the house. When the heat in your home is on, the heat that makes it to your attic will heat up the exterior of your roof. That heat will meet the cold air outside, leading to condensation. The condensation, in turn, can damage your roof. While condensation doesn’t seem like much water, it can do just enough damage to invite far larger issues.
The best way to solve this problem is to ensure that your attic is properly insulated before the beginning of the winter. If the heat can’t escape your home, it can’t cause condensation. Additionally, keeping the heat inside your home will reduce your energy bills this winter.
Another major problem is ice dams. Ice dams are formed when the ice at the top of your roof melts, flows down as water, and then freezes near the edge of your roof. The ice dam can trap water on your roof, which can damage your roof and cause leaks in your home. These leaks can invite mold and mildew, which is dangerous, especially if any of your family members have respiratory issues. Additionally, ice dams can damage your gutters.
While ice damming can’t be entirely stopped, ensuring that you have proper insulation in your home is a great way to minimize its impact.
Icicles may be beautiful, but they put a lot of extra weight on your gutters and could even cause your roof to sag. The best way to prevent icicles is to make sure that your gutters are cleaned regularly and that moisture is properly washed away. It’s also a good idea to knock down any small icicles before they can get large enough to cause real damage.
Finally, there’s the problem of physical damage. Downed tree limbs are a regular problem and they can cause significant damage to your roof. While you can’t predict when a limb will fall, you can predict where that limb will fall. Make sure that your trees are properly trimmed back before the winter starts and that you have a professional come out and attend to any dead trees that happen to be on your property.
If you’ve noticed any of these issues in past winters and haven’t already taken care of them, you’ll want to contact a residential roofing contractor this fall. They’ll have the experience and equipment to check your roof for any existing damage. You’ll want any damaged areas fixed before the winter snows start coming.
While not every roofing problem has an easy solution, a little bit of prevention can go a long way. Whether you’re dealing with condensation or falling tree limbs, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage to your roof this winter. The most important thing you can do is to get ahead of these problems so you’re not left with a damaged roof during the coldest months of the year.