Winter and Roofs: What to Look for After the Storm

Your home’s roof protects you and your valuables this Website. Roof construction and maintenance are very important and though a roof is usually warrantied for up to 20+ years-there is always the unexpected weather event that can wreak havoc on your home’s roof.

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These “Acts of God”, negligence from previous roofers, or previous homeowners can add up. There are times when just year to year-wear and tear can shorten the life of a 20 or 30-year roof. Basically, your roof takes a beating so you need to maintain your roof and have it inspected every few years by a professional roofing company or home restoration company.

Complex roof systems are most vulnerable to the rapid temperature changes and severe weather. It is important to do some self-assessment especially after winter storms-but don’t crawl on the roof yourself, leave that to a professional roofer.

Common Winter Roof Problems:

Ice Damns

When snow and ice land on a roof-the roof is usually warm from interior heat-if night temperatures drop rapidly the melting snow can sometimes form an ice dam on the roof or downspouts. The water then takes the path of least resistance, under the roof system or sideways through flashings (sheet metal shaped and attached to a roof for strength and weather-proofing) that are not, designed to handle this kind of moisture overload. If this happens, costly interior water damage can occur-such as total wood floor replacement or dry-wall replacement-or a complete home restoration. This can sometimes be visually observed or if you are having an interior leak-call a well-respected roofer immediately.

Skylights

Skylights typically get covered with ice and snow after a major storm-which may cause leaking. The drainage system or weep holes get blocked with snow and ice and condensation can’t escape, causing water to build up and leak into the home. If you cannot see out your skylight- you need to have the snow and ice removed from around the skylight. Make sure the contractor is aware that there are skylights-so they don’t damage them if they are buried by a lot of snow.

Repairing Existing Roof Damage

If you notice leaks or watermarks on the walls or ceiling of your home, then the damage is already done. Some roof repair operations are relatively inexpensive if the problem is caught early. However, when water damage is extensive enough to warrant entire roof replacement the repair can be very costly. We recommend regular roof inspections to repair broken or missing tiles; in order to avoid such costly repairs in the future-especially after major weather events or extremely hot summer.

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