From ice buildup and leaks to interior condensation and pests, there are many problems that can plague your property this winter, particularly where your roof is concerned. Let’s take a look at the most common roofing problems so you’ll know what to be on the lookout for.
Ice dams occur often in winter, when the upper areas of your icy roof start to thaw, while the lower areas are still frozen. Warm temperatures in the attic cause ice and snow to melt, which trickles down until it reaches the eaves (which are not as warm), where it proceeds to re-freeze. Water will then start to pool behind the dam, leaking into your home through cracks and joints.
There are some things that can be done to mitigate ice dams such as adding ventilation to eaves and ridges, adding an exhaust fan to the outside, adding insulation, adding flashing around chimneys, sealing and insulating ducts, and caulking any penetrations.
Water leaks signal a damaged roof, usually due to snow buildup and ice dams, animals, or objects that have penetrated the roofing material due to a storm. Leaks lead to water damage, which can cause the growth of mold or impact the structural integrity of the house or unit.
Regular roof maintenance before winter hits will help to prevent leaks over the cold months. Call a roofing contractor if you spot missing shingles, pests, penetrations or any other issue. Clear out your gutters and make sure downspouts are angled well away from the foundation.
Leaky flashing is also a big culprit. Flashing comprises the metal strips installed along the edges, corners and ridges of your roof, chimney, vents and skylights. If they weren’t installed properly in the first place, or if a strong winter storm hits, the flashing can pull away from the roof and encourage the infiltration of water.
Condensation occurs when warm air meets cold surfaces, such as your attic air vs. the cold outside air above the roof. In fact, improperly insulated attics are the top cause of interior condensation, resulting in mold and mildew, as well as structural damage. Your attic should be properly ventilated. If it isn’t, that condensation can damage the roof and decking, while inviting the formation of ice dams and reducing your roof’s lifespan by as much as half.
Pests like rodents, birds, and squirrels are always on the lookout for warm, safe spaces to eat, breed, rest and feed their babies. But in winter, as the temperatures drop, your property becomes even more attractive to wildlife. Unfortunately, the roof is their primary point of entry.
On the exterior, pests can damage the roofline, attic, and siding. On the interior, they can leave droppings, urine, and fur – all of which can transmit diseases to occupants. Also, rodents chew on wires, which results in a fire hazard. You can keep pests out of your property by trimming trees above the roof, sealing holes in vented areas, removing clutter from the home and keeping objects at least eight feet away from the house so critters can’t jump up to your roof from there.
Every so often throughout the winter, inspect the roofline to see if you can spot any entry points. You can do this scan safely from the ground, using binoculars if you have them. If you spot signs of damage of any kind, call your local HOA contractor skilled in exterior maintenance.
Contact Allstar Construction for Roofing in Minneapolis/St. Paul
To prevent roofing issues from becoming a problem, allow the pros at Allstar Construction to provide seasonal and predictive maintenance plans that can address issues before they start. If you do experience a pest, ice dam or other problem on your roof this winter, contact us at (763) 297-5100 to fix the damage and ensure the continued safety of your roof and occupants.