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Winter Is Coming: Fixing Roof Leaks in the Cold Season

When it comes to our home, our roofs are the first and probably the last line of defense against heavy rainfall, snow, and leaks. While it is designed to last decades against the elements, there will be a time that it will start giving away due to old age or damage. Although this is rare, a leaky roof can still form from specific circumstances.

Roof maintenance can be a challenge, while most roof repair services would rather repair your roofs during summer or spring, it is possible to improve them during winter. Usually, melted snow on roofs can become ice dams, which can also cause permanent damage to roofs. As such, it’s only appropriate to find ways to remove them.

But first, how does snow affect our roof, and what makes it leak in the first place? We have to first get to the root of the problem to prevent leaks from forming in the near future. No worries, we’ll be guiding you through the process to maximize the life expectancy of your roof.

Does Snow Affect My Roof?

There are a plethora of different reasons why homeowners should remove ice and snow from their roof as soon as it accumulates.

Added Weight

It’s quite apparent that snow has a mass which can add weight to your roof. Contrary to what most people think, your roof is not designed to handle thousands of pounds of weight. There might be some buildings that can handle a specific weight on their roof, but most will usually only be able to handle a foot of snow before collapsing. Naturally, snow will eventually melt and flow downwards,

If there’s too much snow on your roof, it can create a sufficient space for ice dams to form. As the name suggests, this can hold up water and ice on your roof by freezing on the lower slopes. Having a strong and stable supporting structure can help with the added weight, but it’s always an excellent choice to have a professional roofer look into the situation.

Forming Ice Dams

Some roof materials are tailored towards maintaining a suitable temperature on your roof. When a proper warm temperature is maintained, melted snow won’t be able to freeze and turn into ice dams. When ice dams do accumulate on the roof, water becomes trapped, which in turn will lead to leaks.

Moisture Intrusion

In most cases, the temperature on your roof will fluctuate during colder seasons, which will cause condensation and ‘sweating’ on your ceiling. While a few leaks can be remedied, water that can become trapped on your attic and in hard-to-reach areas can lead to unsightly bulging and molding.

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Preventive Measures

Now we know why most people are anxious about the formation of ice dams and accumulated snow on the roof, we can start taking the necessary measures to mitigate damage.

Temperature Control

The overall temperature of our roof will naturally fall below or close to the freezing point during winter. Therefore, the best way to keep water flowing downwards is by continuing it above the freezing point.

Additionally, an effective insulation system will help ensure that leaks will not form as water is being redirected. Effective forms of insulation, usually in the type of insulation foam or ceiling insulation, is an excellent way of maintaining a stable temperature.

Sealing Leaks

Another effective way of removing leaks is by applying sealants. It’s recommended that you use a rubber membrane sealant for your roof. Since most holes will have on the gaps in between the nails, placing a rubber membrane will help prevent water from seeping inside the area.

However, this method will usually work effectively during warmer temperatures. While there are sealants that can settle and activate hours after it’s being applied, there will be some that will take weeks to harden, especially during colder temperatures.

Insurance

Of course, there is some type of damages that we can’t avoid. In most cases, damages caused by ice dams will warp and buckle particular roofs, which can cause permanent damage. No worries, commissioning the services of a roofing contractor will help keep your roof maintained and in good condition.

However, it’s always important to note that working during colder seasons can be more dangerous, especially when your roof is slippery. It’s a rational choice to come prepared for this type of situation. Since roofs are susceptible to damages, it’s paramount to check in with your insurance firm on what damages are included. An insurance firm that’s willing to stick their neck out for you will usually have good insurance marketing.

Roofing repairs and maintenance can be a significant project, and most will have a hefty price. Ensuring your roof and home will help keep you safe on a rainy day.

Your roof is vital in keeping you and your family safe from harm’s way. There’s bound to be harsh weather during the winter season, so it’s only appropriate to have necessary measures in place to prevent potential damages. While it might not seem like much, but snow can cause permanent damage to our roofs. We have to treat our roofs with respect. After all, it’s keeping us safe.

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