Common Causes of Winter Roof Damage & How to Avoid Them
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Common Causes of Winter Roof Damage & How to Avoid Them

Published by Andrew Schmidt

Your home’s roof is its first line of defense against the elements. Winter can be especially tough on your roof, and preempting winter roof damage may be easier than you think.

Formation of Ice Dams and Icicles

The warm air from your heated living space rises, causing the snow directly above these areas to melt and drip down to the colder edges of your roof. Here the drips refreeze, building up until the ice is thick enough to lift the shingles and push further snow-melt behind it, eventually causing water to seep under the shingles. The best way to prevent ice dam formation is to insulate and ventilate your attic. However, your risk will be significantly lower if you make sure your gutters and downspouts are thoroughly cleaned in late fall and you use a roof rake to remove snow from the edges of your roof during the winter.

Icicles form much in the same way that ice dams build, and while they may seem innocuous, they can damage both your gutters and shingles. Icicles also pose a hazard to those who walk under them. Insulating your attic and eliminating roof-top heat leaks will reduce their formation. Additionally, they can be carefully removed using a long-handled roof rake.

Attic Condensation

Winter build-up on your roof can lead to excessive condensation in your attic ceiling just below the roofing. This is no minor issue, since constant moisture can lead to mold and wood rot. Proper ventilation is again the answer, and it is imperative to plug any leaks in the attic floor insulation where moist air from below might find its way in.

Heavy Snow

Every roof is designed to handle different weight loads, and the risk of a roof collapse is very real if too much ice and snow accumulate on the top of your house. Poor construction or poor drainage can make this bad situation worse, leading to creaking, leaking, and ceiling sagging. This is an extremely serious situation where you should call in a roofing professional immediately.

Worsening Existing Problems

Ice, snow, and repeated freezing and thawing can exacerbate any issue that already exists. Loose shingles, damaged flashing, and small cracks are all likely to worsen during the harsh winter months. The best way to avoid a major issue is to have a thorough inspection of your roofing. Wilmette, IL residents have the advantage of being able to call on the experts at Showalter Roofing Service for all their roofing needs.

Don’t wait until it’s too late-call or go online to set up your roof inspection today.

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