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  • Michelle Anderson, Guest Writer

Common Winter Roof Damage In The Midwest

Updated: Feb 2

Are you a first time homeowner and you’re about to spend your first winter under your new roof? One of the scariest things to think about as a new homeowner is something happening to your roof.


In this blog we will talk about common issues roofs endure during the winter and how you can help prevent these issues. Winter can be especially hard in the Midwest, with the fluctuation of temperatures that melt the snow and ice and then refreeze can certainly wreak havoc on your roof.





Common Winter Damage

  • Snow

  • Wind

  • Attic Condensation

  • Ice-Dams

  • Flashing Leaks


Snow

Yeah, you read that right. Your everyday snow can bring the whole roof down. This is only true if your roof is already compromised, if your roof is structurally sound and you see no sags; it will be fine. However, if you know your roof is not in the best shape, mass amounts of snow and ice will not do you any favors.


Prevent a collapse or sag by contacting your local contractor before winter hits to fix any problems. If your roof is decent but you still want to take care of it the right way, invest in a long handled roof rake to clear the edges of your roof and relieve your gutter system.



Wind

Harsh weather mixed with strong winds during winter will not do your roof any favors. These strong winds can lift and peel back your roof’s shingles, wind can force water into the ventilation system and damage flashing.


There really isn’t much you can do to prevent wind damage if your roof is already in good shape; this comes with the nuances of winter. To be extra safe you can contact your local roofing contractor to inspect your roof to take care of any potential issues and to provide recommendations on preventative measures.


Attic Condensation

When you heat your home the hot moistened air will rise and travel through to your attic floor which can cause condensation throughout your attic if it is not properly ventilated. This can cause a musty odor and mold is likely to grow.


Having a proper ventilated roof will help avoid condensation and create the airflow that’s needed for many years to come. To prevent condensation build up contact your local roofing contractor to inspect your ventilation and allow them to make any necessary repairs.


Ice-Dams

Attic condensation and ice-dams play a vital and damaging role together. The hot air we talked about will travel to the roof deck causing snow and ice to thaw and refreeze. This melted snow and ice will then travel to cooler edges of your roof and refreeze. Over time the ice will build up becoming thicker and heavier putting major strain on these parts of your roof and/or gutters. If there are any leakage points unknown to you on your roof, this water can and will seep into these points and expand due to it refreezing; causing the leak point to be even wider. The water will find its way into any compromised nooks and crannies.


Ice-dams are preventable through proper ventilation and by keeping your gutters clear through the latter of fall. Check your gutters and clear them of any leaves, twigs and debris. Contact your local roofing contractor to inspect your ventilation.


Flashing Leaks

Flashing are the aluminum pieces you see around your roofs vents, chimney, pipes and edges of your roof. The purpose of this flashing is to bridge the gap between open spaces of roofing materials and exposed subsurfaces so that there is a better guard against moisture. These pieces can be susceptible to strong winds and ice especially if they are already compromised.


You can prevent this as much as possible by inspecting the flashing yourself for any flaws and if you feel uncomfortable doing this, you can always call your local roofing contractor to inspect the areas themselves. Your roofing contractor will talk with you about the best course of action to stop flashing leaks and fix any issues you want them to.


Inspect Your Roof

If you’re confident in your ability to inspect your roof safely, check for any missing or torn shingles, check for bare spots and check out your gutters while you’re there. If you have any tree limbs that overhang your roof and gutters it may be a good time to get those trimmed back by a professional. Once you’re done outside make your way to your attic and check for any condensation or funny smells.


Contact Your Trusted Local Roofing Contractor

If you are unable to do all of these steps yourself your local roofing contractor will be on standby to inspect your roof and offer any recommendations for repair. When you use a local roofing contractor you get expert results and warranties.

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