Harsh winter weather conditions, along with constant freezing and thawing can cause major roof problems. Be ready with these five common roof issues and the steps you can take to prevent them.
Problem 1: Ice Dams
Ice dams occur when snow at the warmer peak of a roof melts, flowing downward. Water accumulates under shingles and around lower gutters and forms a dam as it refreezes into ice. The water that gets trapped behind an ice dam can seep into cracks and joints and cause significant damage.
Solution: Ice dams aren’t preventable altogether, but making sure your attic is properly insulated and ventilated is a great start. You can also purchase rubber underlayments at your local home improvement store and have them installed.
Problem 2: Gunky Gutters
Fall debris in your gutters could come back to haunt you this winter. Leaves, twigs and dirt can clog gutters and prevent water from flowing away from your home as ice and snow melt. This can cause water to pool on your roof and cause leaks and water damage.
Solution: The solution for this issue is simple—just be sure to keep your gutters clear. We recommend giving them a look-over once surrounding trees have lost the majority of their leaves. Cleaning your gutters will also help prevent dangerous icicles from forming.
Problem 3: Tree Limbs
Harsh winter weather might just do in the branches of that tree that’s barely hanging on. Even healthy tree branches can freeze and fall or be blown off when temperatures hit an all-time low. Any branches that are too close to your roof can also scrape the shingles and cause damage.
Solution: You’ll want to trim any questionably close or dying branches to within six feet of your home to be sure your family stays safe and warm.
Problem 4: Condensation
Condensation occurs when warm air meets a cold surface. It can form on your roof if your attic is not well-insulated and heat is escaping through the top of the house. This leads to interior mold and mildew, a costly cleanup and a roof that won’t last. It also leads to ice dams.
Solution: To prevent condensation, make sure your attic is well ventilated. To tackle this project, t’s best to first order an inspection for your attic. Your inspector can compile a comprehensive report and discuss the steps you need to take to get your attic and roof winter-ready.
Problem 5: Leaky Flashings
Flashings are thin metal strips placed along the edges of the roof, chimney and skylights to help them stay waterproof. If flashings aren’t installed properly or if harsh weather loosens them, they can become detached from the roof.
Solution: Loose flashings are a leading cause of leaks. It’s important to inspect them at least once a year, preferably in late summer or fall, and replace any that appear to be damaged.
With franchises in 49 states, National Property Inspections inspectors have the knowledge and expertise to get your home winter-ready. Visit our website today to find an inspector near you and rest easy knowing you’re prepared to get through the coldest months.
Do you have a question about getting your roof ready for winter? We can help! Leave a comment below.