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Windows and Doors

Six Most Common Roof Problems in the Wintertime

Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:51 AM

Icicle Ice Dam on Home's RoofWhen cold weather hits, your home’s exterior gets to handle the brunt of the elements. While having a roof over your head is essential, especially in the wintertime, this also means that extra care should be taken to prevent problems. Here are the six main roof problems you can face in the wintertime, and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Ice Dams

Ice dams take place when the roof is radiating heat during freezing weather and causes any snow on the roof to melt. The melted snow then freezes at the roof’s edge.

Ice dams can become severe enough that the melted water travels beneath the shingles. This can cause drywall damage, mold and mildew, and ceiling and roof damage.

To prevent ice dams, you must increase ventilation, add insulation and seal off every possible air leak that might warm the underside of the roof.

2. Attic Condensation

Attic condensation during the cold weather happens when warm indoor air meets a cold surface. Although it may not seem like a problem, condensation can cause leaks which can then cause mold and mildew damage to your home. Not only is this problematic for your home, but it’s also problematic for everyone living in the home due to the health risks.

To prevent condensation, make sure any exhaust fans, as well as dryer vents, are discharged outside rather than to the attic. Even if your attic is well ventilated, condensation can still form from warm, moist air getting trapped in a cold environment.

3. Icicle Formation

Icicles form when the snow on the roof melts and runs off, only to freeze the water in its place.  

If the icicles get big and heavy enough, they can pull shingles and gutters down with them when they fall. The ice and debris can also cause damage to anything they fall on.

To prevent icicles from forming, make sure the attic and ceiling are properly insulated and ventilated.

4. Flashing Leaks

Flashings are metal strips that are placed on the roof around corners, edges, and ridges, as well as around the chimney or skylight. These metal strips can eventually peel away from a roof due to the elements and can cause water to leak into your home.

It’s wise to check on the sturdiness of these strips every six months to catch any potential problems.

5. Trapped Water

Water can get trapped inside the roof and cause a whole host of problems. The water can be absorbed by roofing materials, causing problems such as cracks in the roof and mold growth. Due to the cold outdoor weather and warm indoor air, said water can freeze and thaw multiple times, each time causing even more roof damage.

To prevent trapped water, make sure the roof is properly ventilated. A bi-annual roof inspection should be done by a professional in order to identify potential leak sources before they become bigger problems.

6. Wind and Tree Limbs

Strong winds can be harmful to a roof, but it can become even more troublesome if there are trees close to the home. The wind can not only cause roofing materials to loosen up, but it can also knock nearby trees down that could land on the roof.

Although these problems are hard to avoid, make sure to keep all trees close to the home trimmed throughout the year. Any large, brittle limbs should be watched closely or cut off from the tree.

Your roof should be inspected before and after the harsh winter weather in order to prevent costly damage. Call the experts at Precision Windows and Doors today at 816-524-8999 or 913-649-1199 for a free estimate.

Previous: The Top Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Exterior Siding Next: What’s the Best Material For Replacement Window Frames?

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