Common Winter Roofing Issues and How to Deal with Them

Winter weather can be harsh to your home. Roofs are especially vulnerable to weather conditions like snow, ice, and high winds. Keep an eye on your roof from the moment the snow flies, until spring finally breaks. Identifying roofing problems in their earliest stages allows for faster repairs and mitigates the risk of further damage.

Here’s a list of the most common ones:

1. Condensation-
Condensation results from inadequate ventilation is one of the most common winter roofing issues that goes unrecognized by property owners. Condensation is caused by warm interior air meeting the cold underside of a roof exposed to winter temperatures. It can lead to a musty smell along with the growth of mold and mildew.

The most effective way to prevent roof condensation is to properly vent the roof. Ventilation allows for maximum airflow and reduces the amount of warm air that comes in contact with the cold roof.

2. Ice Dams-
Ice dams are caused by temperature variations. An ice dam forms when top portions of the roof are warm enough to melt accumulated snow, while lower portions of the roof remain below freezing. Water runs down the roof and eventually freezes, forming an ice dam where the edge of the roof meets the gutter system.

Prevent ice dams by ventilating the roof and increasing insulation in order to prevent upper portions of the roof from getting too warm. Insulation should not be packed tightly against the roof, as it may limit airflow and encourages condensation.

3. Icicles-
Icicles form when water from melted snow runs down the roof and begins to drip from the gutters in temperatures just cold enough to freeze the water. Icicles form and, if the problem is not corrected, continue to grow in length.

Icicles can be prevented by employing the same ventilation and insulating practices along with keeping gutters clear of leaves and other debris during the fall. Removing snow and ice from the edges of the roof using a snow rake with a long handle also helps.

4. Strong Winds and Severe Weather-
Both conditions can negatively affect roofing in the winter. Strong winds can pull up or peel back shingles; they can damage flashing; they can drive moisture into roof vents. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent wind damage and mother nature. Having professional help at hand is your best bet!

5. Tree Limbs-
Tree limbs can scrape the gritty surface off asphalt shingles; they can pull shingles up and allow moisture underneath. Heavy tree limbs falling from a good distance can even pierce roofing materials. Trimming limbs during nice weather can help prevent winter disasters.

Unless you are experienced in winter roofing, it is best to call a professional roofing contractor to address the issues listed above. At MESLER, we have the knowledge and experience to safely address winter roof issues with minimal risk.