Old Man Winter can be tough to handle. The sub-zero temperatures, strong winds, ice and snow (and repeated thawing) can wreak havoc on humans, automobiles, sidewalks, roadways, and of course, your roof.
While most of these common winter roof repair issues may not be a surprise to many home or commercial property owners, it’s important to be aware of what to look for, and what steps can be taken to mitigate the damages that may result from the rough winter weather that has now settled in to the Greater Chicago Area.
1 – Condensation – warm inside spaces juxtaposed to extreme cold outside cause moisture and condensation. So if your attic space is warm because it is not properly insulated and ventilated, your roof is at risk of damage. If not properly maintained, it could ultimately shorten the lifespan of your roof significantly.
2 – Icicles – Oh, they are so pretty when they are sparkling in the sunlight. However, those shiny crystal daggers can get very large and heavy and if they come crashing down unexpectedly when things start warming up one day, they could cause some serious harm to passersby. They form as a result of clogged gutters and downspout drains, and due to their heavy weight can cause roof or gutter damage. Ensuring your gutters and drains are clear when the weather is still warm is a good preventive way to deter these dangers ice daggers from showing up in the wintertime.
3 – Falling Tree Limbs – While this is not exclusively a winter roof worry, the impact of falling tree limbs in the winter is exponentially greater when they are full of heavy ice and snow. If heavy branches start drooping down during wintry weather, at a minimum they can scrap and damage the surface layer of the roof, exposing the possibility for leaking and easy access points for animals seeking warmth from the cold outside. At worst, a heavy, frozen over branch could snap and land on the roof doing even more serious damage. Best to play it safe, and again, get those low lying branches trimmed if possible before the snow and ice are covering them.
4- Leaky Flashing – If you’ve never had roof issues, you may not even know about flashing and the problems that can occur. Flashing is simply pieces of metal—usually aluminum or stainless steel— that’s used over areas on the roof, around the chimney, dormers, and skylights, to reinforce those areas where the roof makes the transition and prevent leaks. Rough winter weather can deteriorate flashing over time, or pieces can even be pulled off from very strong storms and high winds. If you suspect you have a leak due to damaged flashing, don’t try this one yourself! Although these are typically easy fixes to be patched or repaired, you’ll want it done by a licensed roofing contractor who is properly equipped to get up there and take care of the roof leak repair for you.
There are plenty of things in life to keep us up at night worrying, but your roof shouldn’t be on the top 10 list. To avoid the worry about winter roof problems, choose a reputable company that has the experience in residential and commercial roofing services to take assist in advance when possible with the preventive check-ups and maintenance, or if necessary, to tackle the needed fixes before those small little problems end in significant time and expense to repair.