If you have an older roof, the coming winter may cause you to worry that it may not hold up well through the colder weather. There are several problems that can develop over the winter and knowing what type of roofing issues to watch for can help you be prepared in both knowing how to spot them and how to prevent them. Ignoring roof problems, especially in the winter, can lead to costly roof repairs, so knowing what can happen is important.
How to Know if You Have Roof Problems
There are a few signs to watch out for.
- New leaks in your attic, or water marks on walls or ceilings that seem to be originating from your attic.
- Doors that are becoming difficult to open. They may be jammed due to the additional load your roof is bearing from the weight of ice and snow.
- Cracks in your drywall or plaster, which are also signs that your roof is bearing excess weight.
- Sagging on the ridge line, where the two sides of your roof meet.
Condensation happens when warm air meets a cool surface. If your attic isn’t properly insulated, it can be a prime candidate for condensation. Condensation in your attic can lead to dangerous mold and mildew, which can damage the structure of your home and make your family sick. Inadequate ventilation in your attic can also damage your roof and shorten its lifespan. If you notice condensation in your attic, talk to your roofing contractor about the ventilation and insulation in your attic.
Flashings are the metal strips around the edges, corners, and ridges of your roof and around your chimney. Flashings can pull away from your roofing material during a storm. When flashings pull away from your roofing material, they can cause water leaks. Inspect your flashings after particularly bad storms, or about every six months to look for potential problems. If you discover an issue early, you can get a repair and prevent the development of leaks.
Weather and Trees
Winter storms can be rough on roofs. High winds can loosen and shake shingles. Trees near your home can also be a risk during strong winter storms. Not only can branches end up falling and damaging your roof, but tree limbs weighed down with ice and snow can scrape the surface of your roof and damage the shingles as well. After a storm, make sure to inspect the ground to see if you see any parts of shingles on the ground, and if so, contact your roofing contractor as soon as possible for repair. A good way to avoid tree damage is to trim any branches that come within a few feet of your roof.
Ice Dams and Icicles
Sunny days and frigid nights are a recipe for ice damage without proper roof ventilation. The upper areas of your roof will begin to partially thaw during the day while the lower areas of the roof are still frozen. The melting ice will flow down and freeze in the lower section and gutters. Icicles are the lesser of the two worries. Icicles can cause damage to gutters and the lower sections of roof, due to the excess weight. Avoiding icicles can be as easy as keeping your gutters cleaned. Ice dams can be a little harder to deal with. Proper attic ventilation and insulation are the best prevention methods you can take. Ice dams can cause damage and water leaks, so if you see any signs of ice damming, make sure to contact your roofing contractor for help.
How to Avoid Roof Problems This Winter
Preventative measures are the best way to avoid roof problems this winter. Make sure that you have an adequate roof ventilation system in place. This will regulate airflow and temperature in your attic. Attic insulation also plays a critical role in regulating the temperature. Blown in insulation is able to get into tighter cracks and crevices for an air-tight seal. Finally, having a roof inspection before the winter really sets in can alert you to any potential problems.
As with anything, the earlier you spot a problem, the easier it will be to fix. This is especially true for old roofs. Waiting on roof problems is never a smart idea. It is the most important part of your home, and you need to be ready to protect it. If you are concerned about a potential roof problem, and you feel it is time to replace your roof to avoid further damages, contact Armorvue Home Exteriors for a virtual appointment to speak with our specialists. We offer high quality products installed by a knowledgeable, courteous team of experts. Your new roof is just a phone call away.