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Leaking Roof Repairs
Winter is usually a grueling time of the year in many parts of the world, leaving impacts in many ways. Roofs are essential to every residence and are most affected by winter. In many parts of the world today, you'll hear homeowners say that there's nothing they can do if their roof gets damaged during winter.
Others believe that the best prevention they can do is to tarp the roof and hold on for spring. That's not entirely true, and it will interest you to find out that there are ways to perform leaking roof repairs during winter.
Before you gather different tools and climb up your roof to find and fix the problem, we recommend reading the suggestions that we have provided in this article. You'll find the basics you should know to help you repair winter roof leaks, so read on.
How To Know When There Is A Problem
There are sure signs to look out for to help you confirm whether your roof has been affected by the harsh winter weather. These signs include the following:
- Presence of leaks that originate from the attic or roof.
- Doors become challenging to open because of the extra load that your roof is holding due to ice and snow.
- Sagging on the ridge line.
- Cracks in plaster or drywall are also a result of the extra weight on the roof.
It's essential to look out for these issues and fix them as fast as possible.
Potential Roofing Issues During Winter
Here are some of the problems that generally arise during winter and how you can fix them:
This occurs when warm air within the attic comes in contact with the cold surface of your roof, especially metal roofing. Basically, condensation may be a result of inadequate insulation or poor ventilation. This problem can exist for a while without leaving any obvious sign before you eventually notice it. Also, the problem is not easily noticeable, unlike other winter issues like fallen branches or ice dams.
However, if left unattended, condensation can eventually lead to more severe issues like the growth of mildew and mold in your home, thereby compromising the strength of other components.
To solve this type of problem, you only need to carry out spot checks in your attic. Ideally, this is something you should do at least twice a year. You might also want to look out for both existing moisture and signs of water damage like discoloration, mildew, and mold.
Ice dams are one of the most prevalent winter roof problems, which occur when the upper part of your roof becomes warmer than the lower parts. This will cause snow and ice to melt and flow from the upper part to the lower parts. Ultimately, it refreezes again when it gets to the colder edges of the roof. The result of this is an ice ridge that extends as water continues to drip down.
Again, the two leading causes of this problem are poor insulation and improper ventilation. Wondering how you can fix this type of problem? The best thing one can do is employ a roofing professional to properly assess the roof and guide you on the next thing to do. This could include removing the ice dams, a complex process you shouldn't handle on your own.
If your roof is leaking, the problem could be from the flashings. These are metallic pieces that are placed on the joints of the roof and around critical spots like the vents and the chimneys. They are designed to channel water and minimize the risk of water damage.
Flashings are one of the most crucial roofing components because they protect sensitive parts of the roof. However, it's important to note that these parts are also prone to damage, especially during winter. The build-up of ice and snow can lead to moisture issues in the step flashings, leading to more severe damage to your home.
If you want to inspect your flashings, we recommend checking both the interior and exterior parts of your home. The upside is that you can prevent this type of problem easily. During flashings installation, it's vital to ensure that seams face downhill so water won't get in easily.
During the winter, some storms can knock out overgrown tree limbs, causing them to fall off and create roof cracks that can cause leaks in your home. Again, this is a problem that you can avoid, and all you need to do is to keep tree limbs trimmed. The limbs should be at least 3-4 feet or one meter from your roof.
Cold winters can gradually turn your home into a zoo. This is because different animals seeking a warmer environment might find shelter in your home. The most common animals with this trend include rats, squirrels, bats, birds, and raccoons. If you're facing this type of problem, then it's very likely that they are in your attic.
It's essential to carry out inspections regularly, and when you do this, you need to look out for the following:
- Food waste and refuse
- Burrowing signs or other signs to show they are making homes
- Holes in your home
- Wood that appears to be chewed
If you can identify any signs showing animal activity, you need to act quickly and ensure that they are gone. However, don't be in a hurry to cover holes up so that you don't end up trapping them in the holes because that will lead to further damage. The roof is an area that animals like to take advantage of, and they are likely to make homes inside your roof. When inspecting your home, always check the roof as well.
Snow and ice build-ups
Leaky roofs could also result from snow and ice build-ups in your home. There are warning signs to look out for to help you know if your home is prone to this type of problem. These signs include the following:
- Severe cracks in your walls or leaks
- Interior doors that continuously get stuck
- Persistent cracking or creaking sounds
In most cases, removing the snow build-up on your rooftop is possible with simple tools like a long hand rake. If you plan to solve this problem yourself, you'll need to ensure that you don't use equipment that will damage your shingles. You also need to be careful so that you don't pull snow on yourself.
How To Avoid Wintertime Roof Problems
Roof ventilation systems help regulate temperatures and airflow in your attic. This is an essential feature for cold winter months and helps ensure that no excess warm air circulates with the cold roof. Ideally, every 300 square feet of attic space should have at least one square foot of attic ventilation.
Insulation also plays a vital role in temperature regulation. Before now, the most popular type of insulation you would find around was roll insulation, but these days, homeowners now use blown-in insulation because they are more effective.
You can view roof inspection from two different perspectives, which are reactive and preventative.
- Homeowners should perform an inspection at least two times every year. This is to ensure that they can detect roof leaks and other roofing issues quickly and fix them before they escalate.
- It's also best to perform an inspection immediately when you notice any sign of possible damage to your roof. You can do this after an ice storm or a wind storm, and it will also help you identify problems quickly.
In addition to everything above, the most essential thing to have in mind is that the first step to take to avoid problems is to winterize your roof. Safety should always be your priority, and you shouldn't wait until a leaking roof becomes so bad before you act. If there are terrible weather conditions, don't perform an inspection on roof leaks until the weather has passed; instead, contact a professional to handle it.