How To Prevent Winter Roof Leaks
Each cold season the winter can abuse the exterior of your home with snow, ice, and wind, leaving behind a number of costly repairs. In order to avoid this expensive damage to your home, it’s crucial to thoroughly learn about typical winter roof issues so you can immediately take action and save both time and money.
Common Reasons Why Roofs Leak During the Winter
• Structural Water Damage
Ice buildup and heavy snowstorms can prevent your house from heating properly and efficiently and can potentially cause significant damage to your trusses and roofing shingles. If you reside in a region with typical severe winter-like weather conditions, consider talking to an expert roofing contractor about installing a new attic ventilation system. An attic vent will help to adequately circulate the air flow in and out of the attic of your home, which works to eliminate interior condensation along with preventing ice and snow from staying on the roof for an extended amount of time. Another bonus of installing an attic vent and incorporating sufficient roofing ventilation is the amount of money homeowners will save throughout the year on their energy bills.
• Flashing and Drains
Roofs are more prone to leaking in certain areas:
1. Flat Roofs
Homes with flat roofs may show signs of leaking at various drain locations. These specific leaks generally occur if a drain hasn’t been maintained properly. Therefore, when it eventually becomes clogged with enough debris, the drainage process significantly slows down. To prevent this, perform a drain inspection at least once a month and also check any terraced areas as well that may possibly clog and result in bigger structural issues later on.
2. Sloped Roofs
Regarding sloped roofs, homeowners sometimes notice a roof leak after a harsh storm in certain flashing areas where there’s installed aluminum that’s intended to protect the corners and edges of roofs. Subpar installation or strong rains and wind can potentially loosen flashing making it pull away. It’s best to inspect the flashing prior to the winter season to make sure it’s well attached in order to prevent any water from seeping in. Luckily, flashing is somewhat economical to replace. And so, replacing the flashing prior to a major storm can literally save you thousands in possible home repairs.
• Damage from Ice Damming
When ice and snow start to accumulate in your home’s gutters and along the ridges of the roof, water that continues to melt can’t properly drain. And so, as water keeps backing up behind the damming ice, it can eventually seep underneath the flashing or even penetrate your roofing shingles, tiles, walls, and ceilings resulting in extensive water damage to your home. In order to prevent ice dams from damaging both the exterior and interior of your home, remove as much snow as possible from the roof of your home with a roof rake, taking careful safety precautions.
Overall, it’s critical to properly seal any air that’s leaking between your attic and roof and install the right amount of roofing insulation to make sure your home’s ceiling is as air tight as possible.
If possible, try adding deicing cables to the roof of your home in the fall or winter. These unique cables are designed to warm up if necessary, successfully melting ice and snow until it safely melts off the roof.
Check your roof and gutters both before and after the winter season in order to maximize its overall efficiency, avoid costly repairs, and potentially save a great deal of money.