All roofs can suffer damage in the winter to a certain degree, from new installations to those that are decades old, especially if the home is in a wintry climate with low temperatures and heavy snowfall.
Winter is no doubt the toughest season for roofs, and if your home is not adequately prepared and monitored, it could also be the most expensive season for you to recover from in the event of damage.
The following four types of winter roof damage are the most common, and consequently the most important to watch out for this winter.
Moisture and Mold Growth
The anatomy of an ice dam is complex. First, outside temperatures must drop below freezing. Then, warmer upper portions of the roof (possibly warmer because of inadequate attic ventilation) cause snow there to melt. The water flows down the roof until it makes contact with the colder roof’s edge and it freezes, forming a ridge. As more water melts and collects, the ice dam only gets bigger.
Over time, water will back up underneath the shingles and moisture will seep into the attic and below, damaging drywall and insulation and creating an atmosphere hospitable to mold growth. Not only can water threaten the secure structure of a home, mold can threaten the health and well-being of you and your family.
When skylights completely ice over, no condensation is allowed to escape. As the snow and ice begin to melt, the water can pool around the frame and rot the structure, or spread inward and begin to damage the drywall interior.
Gutters and Downspout Damage
Ice buildup in a gutter or downspout is heavy and destructive throughout a long winter. Blocks of ice lodged in your home’s drainage system can cause gutters to crack or begin to pull away from the edge of the roof.
In many cases, these blockages are due to inadequate clearing of leaves and debris before the cold and snowy season begins. Replacing a gutter system is costly compared to the minor expense of gutter cleaning — remember to prepare your drainage system for winter and you could save thousands.
Wet, heavy snow can be detrimental to a roof and an entire home. If the weight exceeds the roof’s snow load rating, a portion of the roof or the entire structure may very well collapse. This can cause fatal injuries, or at the very least inflict major, expensive property damage.
The warning signs of a roof collapse include interior sagging ceilings, consistent creaking noises, difficulty opening and closing windows and doors, and more.
Get in touch with the Roof Doctor today — you won’t regret leaving your roof in the hands of a trained, experienced team of experts. Our professionals will check your home for winter roof damage and make necessary repairs before the issues progress and become more serious and expensive to fix.