With winter always lurking around the corner, it can help to understand the problems that come with it. For many homeowners, their winter preparation and maintenance will stay focused on things like salting their driveway and shoveling snow off of their property. With that being said, some serious side-effects of the winter’s cold can manifest on top of your roof! Today, we are going to highlight several cold-weather problems that your roof may run into as the temperatures begin to dip.
When it’s cold outside and warm inside, there’s a high chance for condensation to occur. Condensation is the most common roofing issue in the wintertime. When there isn’t proper ventilation, condensation can build up and eventually cause mold and mildew problems within your home, which is a separate issue altogether. In order to prevent condensation from occurring, make sure your roof has a proper ventilation system installed to minimize warm air from making contact with the underside of the roof. You can also opt to have a roofing specialist perform an insulation check on your roof to minimize condensation issues.
2. Icicles and Ice Dams
Without proper ventilation and insulation, you risk creating ice dams and icicles along the edges of your roof. Varying temperatures cause this phenomenon when the lower portions of the roof are too cold, and the higher portions are too warm. This results in melted snow accumulating and re-freezing into ice dams and dangerous icicles along the gutter system. This can be better prevented with proper insulation. When it comes to insulation, it’s important to note that it mustn’t be packed too tightly as this prevents proper air circulation. Cleaning out the gutters in the fall also prevents icicles from forming when winter comes.
3. Leaky Flashing
Roof flashing is what bridges the gap between the roofing materials and the outside world to keep out moisture. These aluminum pieces can be prone to leaks during the winter months. Due to high winds and the freeze-thaw process of winter, roof flashing is a common area of your roof for issues during the colder months. Flashing is especially vulnerable to leaks when age-related corrosion is visible. In order to prevent this, it’s important to inspect the flashing before the winter months arrive.
4. Tree Limbs
Some roof damage during winter is expected and sometimes unavoidable, but removing nearby tree limbs is one surefire way to prevent some potential damage. When tree limbs hang too low they can scrape roofing materials, thus allowing moisture to get beneath shingles. Heavy tree limbs falling from above pose the risk of piercing through the roof altogether. A simple way to prevent this is to trim any tree limbs within six feet of your roof during the summer and fall months.
5. Squirrels and Mice
This roofing issue is less obvious to most people, but can easily be prevented. If there’s a small opening in any area of the roof, squirrels or mice will see it as a welcoming place to live. Even if it’s a small gap, squirrels and mice can easily gnaw away at it to get in. Instead of putting traps or critter poison in your attic which can harm wildlife, it’s better to just inspect and seal up any small holes before winter comes.