5 Common Roofing Problems That Happen During Winter Months
Your roof can sustain harsh conditions all year long. Whether it’s the harsh UV rays of the sun, 100 plus degree temperatures, downpours and hail; the summer has its fair share of hazards. On the other hand, the winter is no picnic either. If you live in a cold climate, you can have inches of snow, frigid below zero temperatures, or thick layers of ice building up on your roofing surface. Even those in more temperate climates can face big winter storms with wind and lots of rain.
The winter has some particularly tough challenges, so you’ll want to make sure your roof is prepared, inspected and ready to face whatever “Jack Frost” brings your way. These are some of the biggest winter roofing problems you’ll want to be on the lookout for.
Winds can be a problem any time of the year, but they can be especially harsh in the winter. They may bring with them bits of ice and snow that can wreak havoc on your shingles or other surfaces. That snow and ice can build up around all of the various surfaces and valleys of the roof which can cause dangerous, heavy drifts.
Winds can pull up and damage shingles. If they are accompanied by extreme cold, it can cause the shingles to become brittle which makes the damage even worse. As shingles age, they become even more brittle, making the problem worse.
The solution? Have your roof inspected by a qualified roofer like Horizon. Make sure that shingles are in good condition, and all securely attached. You don’t want to be forced to get a new roof, or large sections of the roof in the middle of a winter storm. It may be difficult for roofers to work in the middle of a storm, so repairs could take longer.
Not only does winter bring problems that occur during snowstorms, but those problems can continue as conditions improve. When snow melts, all that water needs to go somewhere.
If your gutters have a high amount of standing water, it can freeze into big chunks. These chunks freeze, melt, and re-freeze. When the snow on the roof melts, the water won’t be properly carried away by the gutters. This can result in pooling water on your roof, which easily can result in leaks.
To solve this problem, you need to stay on top of your gutter cleaning routine. All throughout the fall, inspect your gutters and keep them clean. If sticking your hands into a sticky soup of wet leaves isn’t your thing, hire a local contractor that specializes in gutter cleaning.
Depending on the speed that leaves fall in your neighborhood, you may need to check the gutters multiple times before the winter begins.
Installing a gutter guard system can help to keep your gutters clean on an ongoing basis. These systems force leaves to blow and tumble over the top of gutters so they don’t get stuck inside. There are many styles of gutter guards. You’ll be able to find one that both looks great and functions to keep your gutters clean all winter long.
Another thing that needs inspection is the slope of the gutters themselves. Over time, whether through poor installation or just general settling, gutters may no longer let water flow towards the downspout and instead allow it to pool at an end.
Every several years, it’s a good idea to hire a professional gutter service company to check these problems and perform vital preventative maintenance.
One of the prettiest sights of the winter is icicles hanging from the overhangs of peoples houses. That is, until they fall and break a car window or worse, injure someone.
Icicles are a good sign that too much moisture or water has built up in your gutters. There is probably a clog in the system somewhere, and you may need professional assistance to keep it clean.
Safely knock icicles off with a broom or other tool. You can spray them with warm water if you need to. You’ll want to remove them in a controlled manner before they come down when someone isn’t expecting them to!
Heavy Tree Limbs
Yet another hazard that is pretty to look at but not fun to deal with the consequences of is snowy tree limbs. When snow builds up on the limbs of trees, it causes them to take on a lot of additional weight. When a storm blows through, it can cause the stress to go past the breaking point of the limbs and they can fall, causing major damage to a roof below.
Proper tree maintenance is essential for the safety of your home. If a tree is on your property, it’s your responsibility to have it properly trimmed and pruned. If a tree is on your neighbor’s property, the expense may fall on them.
Plan ahead and have an arborist look at your trees and determine if trimming needs to be done before the winter snow arrives.
Structural failure under the heavy load of snow is more common than you might think. This is a highly dangerous condition that could place all the occupants at grave risk of injury or death.
There’s several things you need to do to prevent this from happening. First, an inspection by a qualified roofer like Horizon can give you an idea of the condition of your roof and how much it can support.
Snow load is mainly a concern for low-pitched roofs, because it tends to create larger piles. If it’s safe, you may need to climb up and use a leaf blower or broom to help prevent snow from building up. Be extremely careful when doing this since winter conditions can bring ice and winds. If you aren’t sure you want to tackle this, call a professional.
The main thing is to make sure all the systems of your roof are working at peak condition. Keep your gutters clean. Make sure that all of the material underneath is in good condition and leak proof.
Horizon Roofing – serving the Orange County, CA area – is your reliable local roofing contractors. We specialize in residential roofing and commercial roofing and have been in the industry for over a decade. We have excellent reviews and look forward to serving your need.