Wintertime is a hazardous period for the roof. Issues such as moisture buildup, icicles, rodents, leaks, and tree overgrowth damage the roof without the homeowner’s awareness until it is too late.
Moisture builds when the heated air from the house rises and meets the much colder outside air. Quickly cooling air leads to condensation, which has nowhere to go and soaks the structure materials. This soaking causes mold, rot, and many other issues.
Icicles occur when the snow melts because of heat escaping from the attic. The melting snow meets the cold air and freezes. There are many risks posed by icicles. When they fall, they are a danger to people. The extra weight of icicles can damage gutters and roofing materials. Often, keeping the gutters free of debris helps prevent their formation.
Ice dams are responsible for the majority of winter roof leaks. When melting snow runs off the sloped roof into an ice dam, it freezes and makes the dam larger. Eventually, the melting snow has nowhere else to go but into the attic, insulation, and exterior walls. Poorly sealed flashing around the chimney may also penetrate the roof and leak into the structure.
Limbs from overgrown trees can damage the roof by puncturing it, and when limbs move with the wind, they can rub on the shingles. Excessive tree overgrowth also deposits more leaves in the gutters, which contributes to ice dams.
During cold weather, rodents seek warmth. Mice, rats, and squirrels search for a way in, and they can fit through a minimal opening. Even if they find an opening too small to get through, they chew around the crack causing much damage until they reach the inside. The sealing of all possible entry points before winter is the best approach to keeping the wildlife out.