As a child when you thought of old man winter you may have thought of sledding, ice skating and snow days. As a homeowner though, old man winter brings on different thoughts. Snow plowing, shoveling and ice scraping are just a few. One of the biggest threats winter makes to homes is on the roof, and roof problems are every homeowner’s nightmare.
- Icicles. While sometimes pretty to look at they can be very damaging to shingles and gutters and pose a threat to anyone who may be walking by. Icicle formation is damaging to the home because the buildup of water can cause leaks throughout the roof and eventually into your home. Prevent icicle formation this winter by properly insulating your attic or ventilating. Additionally, eliminate any roof-top air leaks before major snow falls or ice storms. If prevention is out of the question and a more immediate approach is needed, very carefully secure your ladder and dislodge any icicles with a roof rake. Be sure no one is standing below and never attempt to walk on an icy roof to remove icicles.
- Ice Dam Buildup. Water needs a pathway off your roof and when it can’t find one, it causes leakage points in the roof. Ice dams form as the melted snow begins to run down the roof’s edges and then re-freezes. This ice dam will clog gutters and water will have no way to escape the roof. When the water freezes and thaws, leak-prone areas will be affected and new leakage points can occur. Your home’s drywall, ceilings and floors may experience severe water damage causing mold and mildew. Ice dams can be avoided similar to icicles, by properly insulating and ventilating your attic. It’s also extremely important to clean out gutters before the first major snow fall to aid in the prevention of ice dams.
- Snow Loads. Every roof is different but light or heavy snow creates pressure to the roof just the same. If ice and snow accumulate on your roof over the course of the winter, the risk of roof collapse is something to be concerned about. Along with poor roof draining and ice dams, the situation can lead to creaks, leaks and ceiling sagging. If you start to notice cracks above your windows or doors, be aware of the signs and call in a professional before an eventual roof collapse occurs. Before a critical situation, you can manage snow accumulation by removing snow from the edges of your roof with a roof rake.
- Condensation Buildup. If your roof is suffering through the winter season, your attic is next to fall in line. Below your roof, your attic ceiling may be experiencing extreme condensation. This moisture buildup will lead to wood rotting and mold problems that are no small task to fix. As we mentioned before, proper ventilation is key to ensure these issues don’t arise. Additionally, be sure to plug any leaks and check appliances using plumbing that can be causing excess moisture buildup.
- Winter Winds. Old man winter brings with him the strongest winds of the year. No matter the age of your roof, these fierce winds threaten to damage shingles. Whether they’re loosened or torn off completely, wind damage becomes a heightened problem in the winter. Wind is a difficult problem to dodge but if you’re in the planning stages of a home consider the benefits of slate roofing. Slate roofs last longer and hold up against weather much better than a traditional asphalt roof.
Slate is water resistant and unaffected by mold. Is installation holding you back? The BECK Fastener Group® Slate Roofing Hooks, which are nothing less than a revolution compared to today’s difficult and time-consuming manual installation of roofing hooks, make it easier. The collated roofing hooks are pneumatically driven with the Slate Roof Nailer and represent the fastest, safest and most efficient slate shingle installation method to date. Watch our Video!