Common Winter Roofing Problems

snow on a roofSnow, rain, ice, and wind may cause major damage to roofs during the winter. Common roofing problems include ice damming, structural water damage, and leaks. Keeping an eye out to catch these issues early may enable individuals to complete DIY fixes, or at least determine if a professional should handle the matter.

Ice damming occurs when snow and ice accumulate in gutters and along roof ridges, preventing melting water from draining properly. As the water builds up, it can penetrate the roof shingles, ceilings, and walls causing major water damage. To prevent ice damming on the roof, safely remove snow buildup using a roof rake. Those working during the winter to address this problem may consider using a DeWALT electric heater to keep warm in low temperatures. Seal air leaks between the roof and attic to increase insulation and ensure the ceiling is airtight.

Structural water damage may occur in the wake of heavy snowstorms and ice buildup, which prevents the home from heating efficiently. It may also cause damage to the roof shingles and trusses. Consider installing an attic ventilation system if your region is susceptible to consistent severe winter weather. This system circulates air in and out of the attic, therefore reducing interior condensation and preventing snow and ice from settling on the roof for long periods. A good roofing ventilation system can also save homeowners hundreds of dollars on their utility bills each year.

Roof leaks occur in several main locations. First, those with sloped roofs may notice post-storm roof leaks at areas where aluminum is installed to protect roof edges and corners, otherwise known as flashing areas. High winds or bad installation can loosen flashing in the face of high winds and heavy rain, causing it to pull away. Monitoring flashing and taking care of any updates or repairs before a major storm may save individuals hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Secondly, those who own property with a flat roof may notice leaks at drain locations, due to improper maintenance. Drains are easily clogged by debris and conducting inspections on drain locations about twice a month can help thwart clogs from causing major problems.