Most homeowners are aware that heavy storms, such as hurricanes, high winds, tornadoes, and hail can contribute to storm damage to their roofs. However, winter damage can be just as disastrous for homeowners.
Although roofs are designed to sustain snowfall and ice, heavy periods of wintry weather can take a toll on your roofing structure? Are you curious as to how winter damage can take shape in your home?
If so, you’ve come to the right place. This article will detail five concerning winter damage roofing issues that should be placed to your attention.
1. Ice Dams
Ice dams are extremely common during the winter months in regions that experience cold temperatures and moderate snowfall. They can also cause widespread damage throughout your roofing structure.
Here is the process of how an ice dam is formed:
- As your home circulates warm and hot air, your shingles become heated. This will also heat up the snow and ice that rests on your roof shingles.
- As a result, the snow and ice will melt and cold water will resurface in the colder edges of the roof. It will then refreeze.
- Once the ice gets thick enough, it will form a dam. This will block more cold water from your roof and cause it to come inside your home from gaps in the shingles.
- Leaks can occur as ice thaws and refreezes, working its way inside small spaces in your roof.
The best way to prevent the formation of an ice dam is by ventilating and insulating your attic. This way, heat from your home won’t affect your shingles. You can also eliminate ice dams by cleaning downspouts and gutters in the fall months and removing off snow from the edges of your roof.
Alternatively, you can fill your gutters with heat tracing cables to prevent melted snow from getting into your home.
Icicles are very common in the winter months, and people are usually accustomed to seeing them on the edges of their roofs. But, make no mistake, icicles are a point of concern. The formation of icicles is indicative of the presence of ice dams since they are both created under the same conditions.
As shingles gain heat, snow and ice melt. Droplets of water will slowly fall off the roof, to the point where they will freeze and form icicles. Icicles can damage both your gutters and shingles, while also becoming a hazard to people walking below if they grow too large.
Eliminating air leaks in your roof and fostering more insulation can prevent icicles from forming. If you spot icicles already forming on your roof, knock them down with a rake. If you use a ladder, make sure that it’s safe. Never place a ladder on snow or icy ground, and never walk on an icy roof!
3. Condensation Issues
If your roof is suffering from the presence of icicles and ice dams, then there is a great chance that condensation issues are also a problem. When water falls in cracks between shingles, it has to travel somewhere.
Otherwise, condensation will buildup in your attic. High levels of moisture are dangerous for a roof. It can lead to wood rot. Over time, your roof can get weaker and collapse due to the presence of snow.
Leaks can also penetrate unsealed, weak, and unventilated roofs. Again, ventilation is the key here. Make sure you hire a roofing specialist to plug leaks in your roof and inquire about how your roof can get properly ventilated.
Roofs need to breathe. You can use a dehumidifier in your attic to prevent excess moisture buildup, but calling a roofing specialist may be the best solution.
4. Heavy Snow
Different roofing materials are innately designed to carry different loads of weight. If too much snow or ice exists on your roof, the threat of a collapse can happen. Wet snow is particularly very heavy on roofs.
Lighter snow can also damage a roof if it doesn’t melt within a few days. Gutters are supposed to take pressure from your roof by navigating wet snow and water away from it.
However, most homes have poor drainage due to clogged gutters anyway. Paradoxically, an unclogged gutter can lead to the destruction of a roof. This is a very pressing situation, so you should call a roofing professional immediately if you notice sagging in your ceiling. This issue will be most visible in your attic.
5. Exacerbating Existing Issues
Lastly, wintry weather can worsen existing issues on your roof. If your roof isn’t properly ventilated, then even the smallest amount of ice and wet snow can become a long-term problem.
If you have a small leak in your roof, cold water can creep inside and freeze, making the leak much bigger. If your gutters are clogged, then ice dams will wreak havoc and the entire structure could be compromised if your area experienced a cold winter.
Winter damage can be a serious possibility if you haven’t taken the necessary steps to protect your roof. This is why maintenance is important to eliminate these issues before they happen.
Give Us a Call Today!
If your roof has been damaged due to cold weather, then you should act with a sense of urgency. Give us a call today at (864) 504-6884 to speak with a member of our team to request our services.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do you have any more questions about winter damage? If so, refer to these FAQs below for more insight.
How much snow can damage a roof?
- Shingle roofs can generally carry large amounts of snow. The problem is when the snow doesn’t melt within a few days. This leads to a roof holding thousands of pounds of pressure for a long period.
How can I spot a small leak?
- You can detect a small leak by visiting your attic or looking at your ceiling for discoloration and signs of moisture. If your attic feels strangely humid, then that’s an issue.
Can I fix my roof myself?
- It’s often best for a professional to make any roofing repairs. This way, the issue gets repaired, and preventative techniques can be used to eliminate the chance of it happening again.