Winter weather can take a toll on your roof. The roofing materials are designed to defend against rain and snow, but they also wear over time and require regular inspections and maintenance. Freezing weather in winter makes them become brittle and more susceptible to being damages in an ice storm or by the extra weight of snow accumulation rather than rain runoff.
Routine roof maintenance starts with an inspection to check the roof’s structure. If shingles have blown loose or completely off the roof they can be repaired or replaced before causing a bigger problem. If the roofing tar that seals ventilation pipes, chimneys and possibly sky lights has become hardened and cracked it needs to be patched at least or in worse cases removed and reapplied. Although these aren’t major repairs, they have to be completed before a water leak begins and causes much more damage throughout the structure of your home.
How Winter Affects your Roof
Because of the formation of snow and ice, winter storms create an additional weight on your roof compared too typical water runoff. Sleet can give your roof a pounding as hard frozen rain pellets come down with large amounts of force. Further problems occur with snow, especially when mixed with rain or freezing rain. The snow blocks the passage of the water and allows it to freeze in solid blocks of ice.
Beyond the expected maintenance repairs, ice dams are a specific repair your roof may need during winter weather. Once the gutters freeze over, they won’t thaw for some time after temperatures rise above freezing. In that time, water can’t flow off the roof, adding to the size of the dam daily and making it more difficult to thaw. Before freezing water has a chance to penetrate roofing materials that were designed for the water to follow a proper drainage pattern rather than stand as puddles on top of the roof. Once the roof has been compromised, it becomes less efficient and will continue to allow water to come inside the home.
A professional roofing contractor is aware of these problems. He also knows how to prevent them or repair them as needed. The best way about it is to have your roof regularly inspected and have the contractor advise you as to what to look for that would indicate you need him to come conduct further repairs.