Tips for Avoiding Roof Leaks in the Winter Months
Follow these tips to help prevent roof leaks during the winter.
Suggestions to Help Avoid Roof Leaks During the Winter
Winter months can seem to last forever with frigid temperatures and harsh weather. These climate factors are tough on your roof by creating leaks that affect not only the roof and its shingles but also the inside of your home. Leaks need to be addressed quickly in order to dodge significant damage to the structure of your house. Gutters that are clogged, inadequate insulation in the attic, and flashing that is loose or warped can all result in roof leaks in the winter. Because heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures can create a risk of ice dams and structural damages from additional weight, it’s important to take preventative measures before problems ensue.
How can you avoid roof leaks when the weather does its thing in the winter? At Allied Roofing Solutions, your New Jersey roofers for all your roofing needs, we can help you to prevent leaks in addition to correcting them when they occur. However, even though you are attentive in following these tips, emergencies can still occur. Read our article “Steps to Take During an Emergency Roof Leak” for what to do in this situation. To help you in being preventative, we have put together some tips for avoiding roof leaks in the winter months.
Check the Flashing
Don’t neglect to check the flashing on your roof before and during the winter. Flashing is a flat, thin piece of metal used to waterproof the perimeter and protrusions on the roof. For example, you find flashing at the bottom of the chimney, the valleys where two roof slopes join, vents, skylights, and roof edges. These areas are critical in proper water drainage to keep your roof from leaking. Broken flashing can allow snow, ice, and water to enter your roof and leak into the house, possibly resulting in severe damage.
Keep an eye on areas where there is flashing and be sure they are not broken, gapping, or have open seams. If you see flashing that isn’t tightly sealed, it needs to be re-caulked and the gaps fixed. It’s a good idea to call in a professional for a roof inspection that will catch any flashing issues, where they should be corrected, and if damaged shingles need to be replaced.
Clean Out Gutters
Be sure to clean out the gutters before the weather becomes frigid and harsh. Gutters that are blocked with ice, leaves, or debris don’t drain water properly. Ice, snow, and water need to drain away from the roof to prevent leaks. When gutters are clogged, water can back up and seep under the shingles, causing your roof to begin to leak in the winter.
Remove Ice Dams
Ice dams that form on your roof can allow moisture to enter the home and lead to mold and mildew. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow and water from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and rafters. Ice dams are created from differing temperatures on the roof surface. The heat that escapes from the house combines with outside temperatures and snow cover to create ice dams.
In the event you get ice dams on the roof, you will need to remove snow from the roof with a “roof rake” and "push broom." In an emergency situation where water is flowing into the house, make channels through the ice dam to allow the water behind the dam to run off the roof. An expert professional, like Allied Roofing Solutions, can perform these tasks correctly and take care of the problem issues quickly.
Eliminate Attic Condensation
Proper and adequate insulation in the attic avoids wet air from entering the house, which can cause extra humidity and moisture to accumulate. Attic temperatures are cooler than the temps in your home during the winter. The variance in temperatures causes condensation that builds up on the rafters and other wooden surfaces.
Several things can result from this situation:
- Moisture droplets fall from rafters and seep through the ceiling
- Rafters and other roofing elements are susceptible to mildew, mold, and rot
- Ice dams form on the roof
In preventing these issues, make the ceiling airtight so that no warm and moist air is flowing into the attic space. Increase the ceiling and roof insulation to also diminish heat loss and condensation.
Look for Damaged Shingles
If there are shingles that are cracked, damaged, or missing on your roof, you have a strong possibility of leaks during the winter. Be on the lookout when you have had weather that could have caused shingle damage due to strong winds or hail. A roof that has a lot of damage from weather may need to be replaced. At Allied Roofing Solutions, we can inspect your roof and provide free estimates for a total roof replacement when necessary.
Contact Allied Roofing Solutions to Help You Prevent Roof Leaks in the Winter
Our team of professional roofing contractors is knowledgeable about potential issues that come from severe winter weather. Call us so you can be preventative before the bad weather begins. We serve New Jersey residents in Bergen County, Essex County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Somerset County. Call us at (201) 773-0633 or complete the free roof estimate contact form to schedule an appointment. Let us help you protect your home from roof leaks in the winter months.