Common Causes of Roof Leaks in Winter
All anyone really wants to do in the middle of winter is curl up with a good book, a hot drink, or maybe some TV. Nobody wants to deal with a leaking roof when the weather outside is freezing. Yet roofing contractors are probably busiest during the times of the year when the weather is less than ideal for outdoor work.
There are common causes of roof leaks during the winter season:
An ice dam is a block of ice that has formed at the edges of a roof, preventing water from draining into the gutter and away from the house. Your roof can leak because the trapped water is backing up and getting underneath the shingles, soaking up the felt or underlayment. It can also get underneath the flashing that’s supposed to protect the sides of roof penetration, such as a skylight or a chimney.
What to Do: Make sure your attic is properly ventilated and insulated. Ice dams are formed because the snow at the top of the roof melted more quickly than the snow at the edges. This is due to rising heat, which is trapped in your attic. Ventilation allows hot air to escape. It also allows moisture to leave the attic as fresh air comes in. You should also ensure your gutters and downspouts are clean and free of clogs. It helps to install a gutter cap to allow only water to enter the gutter system.
Any crack or crevice is a potential moisture entryway into your roof. If there are small openings where moisture can get trapped, the freeze-thaw cycle can make matters worse, because water that freezes expands, forcing the opening to get bigger. Missing shingles and cracked, broken, popped or blistered shingles alike can get worse during winter.
What to Do: Call a residential roofing professional to inspect and maintain your home regularly, particularly before the winter season. It’s important to address any issue with your roof before it is exposed to snow, ice, hail, and freezing temperatures.
Roofs have joints and penetrations. To prevent moisture from entering these “weak spots”, roofers install flashing. Flashing is usually made of corrosion-resistant metal, but it can also be plastic or some other composite material. If the flashing is broken, this can lead to leaks over a short period of time.
What to Do: Flashing needs to be installed by a professional to ensure weatherproofing, so don’t attempt to DIY this job. Again, it’s advisable to call a pro to inspect your roof, especially before the winter season sets in.
Get in touch with Sprague Roofing and Restoration for your residential or commercial roofing concerns. Call us today at these numbers: Fort Collins: (970) 514-4415, Cody: (307) 578-8765, Billings: (406) 534-1222. You can also tell us about your roofing problems or home improvement projects here. We work with homeowners in Cody, WY, and in Fort Collins, CO, as well as in other areas around Colorado.