Tricky Winter Weather Damage To Roofs
Winter storms will soon be gripping the region. You’ll be shoveling out your car, driveway, and sidewalks. But don’t stop there. Take a look up at your roof and check things out. A wintry mix of snow, sleet, rain, and ice is not only troublesome for driving conditions but can also cause serious damage to roofs. Here is what to watch for once Old Man Winter gets your roof in his icy grasp.
Ice dams that leak into walls and lead to a costly mold or rot problem can be a much bigger and more costly problem than first meets the eye.
Ice dams are what their name implies: a dam made of ice. Snow and ice melt on your roof due to the internal heat from your house; however, this heat is not evenly distributed across your roof, and melting water that collects in cold areas freezes into a solid mass of ice. These dams can prevent melted water from running off your roof, causing it to pool on the roof, where it can cause leaks. If there are ice dams on your roof, one prevention method is to blow cold air against the roof from inside the house, preventing snow and ice from melting. If you already have a leak, this can also be used as a makeshift measure to keep water melting and leaking into the house. Heat tape can also help prevent dams from forming along roof edges to prevent runoff.
Skylights can leak for several reasons in the winter. Poorly placed flashing can cause moisture to seep into your home, especially after a snow- or rainstorm. Condensation may also contribute to leaky skylights during the colder months. Skylights may also leak during the winter and especially if there is a buildup of ice or snow that may cause water to be blocked or built up, which will add weight to the skylight and cause possible leaks. Debris hitting the skylight and causing damage is another major cause for concern during high winds and blizzard conditions.
Strong winds and tree limbs are the two biggest culprits of winter roof damage. When wind speeds are high, they can loosen shingles gradually. Eventually, they will blow off your roof completely. If shingles or other pieces of your roof have been loosened or blown away by a storm, replace them immediately to preserve the integrity of your roof and avoid damage like trapped water or leaks. Tree limbs heavy-laden with ice and snow are prone to falling, and strong winds can bring them crashing down onto your roof. The limbs don’t even need to break away from the tree to cause damage. They can scrape the surface of your roof during strong windstorms and you would never be the wiser. The best protection from these types of problems is to trim any branches that come within eight feet of your home. This has the added benefit of keeping most animals off of your roof as well.
There’s never a good time to have roof damage, but winter can be the worst. Be vigilant about avoiding conditions that could be hazardous to your roof and repairing small problems as they arise, to prevent bigger issues in the future. If you need to repair your roof to prepare for winter, contact the home improvement professionals at All-Nu Construction today.