Harsh weather poses the most significant risk for both residential and commercial roofs. Winter provides some of the most consistent extreme weather conditions—following the below list of winter roofing tips protects your home from the most significant threats.
Snow and ice can wreak havoc on roofing systems. Any compromised structural components are exposed when winter weather rolls through your location.
This article will outline some of the most common causes of winter roof damage and provide a list of winter roofing tips so you can be sure you’re ready for the colder months!
Winter roof damage comes from three mains sources:
Ice dams occur when the snow on your roof melts, heated from the living space beneath or the sun. This water flows towards the gutter and freezes because of the distance from the heat. Over time, this ice builds up and prevents future drainage. The melted water has nowhere to go but inside your home.
Attic condensation occurs when warm, moist air from the living spaces condenses against the cold roof’s surface. Delayed discovery can lead to mold growth and wood rot, both costly restoration projects.
Heavy snow loads are when a large amount of snow accumulates on your roof. It’s even more of a threat when this snow is damp. Any structural issues your roof has becomes magnified by the increased stress and presence of water.
This list of winter roofing tips guards against the most common types of winter roof damage. Before winter each year, you should:
A quick word about professional roof inspections before diving into each aspect of the above list: roof inspections are the most crucial component of maintaining a safe, dry home over the winter season. A professional can make sure your roof doesn’t have any spots where water can enter your home and recommend the best course of action to save you money in the long run.
Trim any tree branches hanging over your roof. Similar to the threat of heavy snow loads for your roof, tree branches laden with snow can snap, falling onto your roof and puncturing your exterior.
Even small branches can damage shingles and create spaces where water enters your home.
During the rest of the year, fixing issues from fallen branches isn’t tricky. But when there’s snow on the roof, proper repair becomes both more necessary and more difficult.
Cleaning your gutters makes sure water flows freely towards the downspout. If any blockages result in standing water for any amount of time, you place your roofing system at risk for ice dams.
And as we’ve seen, ice dams are a potent cause of water entering from beneath your shingles and causing water damage in your attic or below.
In the worst-case scenarios, the combination of ice and debris in your gutters can overload the system and put them at risk of collapse.
Remember the issue of attic condensation? Well, checking your attic insulation prevents this from becoming a problem.
When the warm, moist air from your living space drifts up into the attic and meets the cold air at the roof, it condenses.
A proper amount of attic insulation ensures that attic condensation doesn’t become an issue by keeping the warm air from escaping. Plus, a properly insulated attic reduces your home’s energy bill. Out of all the winter roofing tips, this one has the best year-round application.
Out of all the winter roofing tips, this is the most important. Why? It directly impacts the odds of issues from heavy snow loads and ice dams.
Ice dams form when your roofing ventilation isn’t performing correctly. A short overview: you want your attic cold in the winter. If your attic is too warm, it will melt the snow on the roof and increase the chances of ice dam formation. For a more comprehensive look at roofing ventilation, check out this article.
A roof inspection also identifies areas of your roof susceptible to damage. Professionals check the seals, flashing (where two parts of the roof meet), shingles, and gutters, ensuring that they’re all ready for inclement weather. Damage or degradation of any of these components is prime real estate for water’s entry into your home.
This list of winter roofing tips puts you in an excellent position to prevent the most common forms of winter roof damage. Your roof will thank you with quality protection for years to come!
Both residential and commercial roofs are at risk for water damage, which can, in turn, lead to mold damage and affect the structural integrity of your roof.
Regardless of whether you follow these winter roofing tips, there’s a chance that a storm comes in and causes damage to your home. When that happens, give Possert Construction a call! We are a roofing company dedicated to customer satisfaction. You can either give us a call or reach out via our contact page, and we’ll get back to you so we can schedule your free inspection!