Roofing in Winter Weather – Best Practices

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Winter can bring many problems to your roofing system. Here are the most common:

1. Ice damming

Ice damming occurs when ice has built up on the gutter or melting snow gets trapped under the ice causing water to go back up the roof, penetrate the shingles and then enter the attic usually at the exterior walls of the house.

2. Attic Condensation or False Ice Damming

This occurs when the homeowner would definitely have moisture in the attic and sometimes major stains on the ceilings but the source of the water was condensation. One such situation is that a homeowner is experiencing water stains on the inside of the exterior wall and where the walls meet the ceiling and assume that they are experiencing ice damming. It turns out that the insulation is simply an inch or so short of covering the entire ceiling and the exterior walls. Any bare drywall can be a source of heat loss to your house and condensation in your attic. Be sure that everything is covered with insulation including your access panel which is commonly neglected by homeowners.

3. Leaking Roof

A leaking roof is one of the biggest problems of homeowners. The most common causes of roof leaks would be cracks and damages of flashing around vents and chimneys.

While these may be the most common problems that you may experience during winter, if you make it a point to have the best roofing practices for winter, you will avoid having to experience these problems. These usually are just very simple tasks:

1. Make sure that your roof surface is always clear of debris

When your roof has debris even before winter sets in, it could be added weight to your roof when snow and ice starts to accumulate. Besides, debris itself can cause damage to your roof.

2. Clean out the gutters regularly

Debris like falling leaves can get stuck in the gutter. If snow and ice gets stuck in the gutter with other debris, this can cause damage to your roof that can in turn cause roof leaks later on.

3. Always check for leaks, rust and rot

Most of the time, leaks, rust and rot can be detected only when these are already major damages. If you constantly check your roof for minor damages, you do not have to deal with major problems later that may end up with costly roof replacement.

4. Regularly trim overhanging tree branches

Falling objects such as overhanging tree branches and shrubbery have been common causes of roof damage. The damage is usually minor but if overlooked will develop into a bigger problem especially when snow and ice fall during the winter.

5. Damaged shingles should always be replaced

Blistered, buckled, curled and of course, missing shingles should always be replaced. Otherwise, this will also be a main cause for roof leaks.

All in all, it is best to check your roof before winter sets in. If there are repairs to be done, it would be best to have it done early. However, roofers are usually fully booked just before winter, because many homeowners are rushing to have their roof fixed. So, it is best to prepare your roof earlier than most people.

Winter shouldn’t be a time of worry for you. Instead of worrying about whether your roof will withstand the weather, all you should be concerned about is how to relax and keep yourself warm during the cold weather.

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Source by Grace F. M.