Eventually, hopefully, we’ll be out of the depths of winter and moving on to hotter temperatures and sunnier days. However, the temperatures seem to keep dropping, with a new batch of snow always peaking around the corner. You’re supposed to rely on your house to keep you warm and safe during these times, but what happens if your roof has a leak? This can cause damage to your home, leaving you with a financial nightmare while also exposing you to the elements. Roof leaks are much more commonly found during the winter, so it’s important to know what causes these leaks, how you can fix them, and how to prevent them from happening in the future.
There are many ways that your roof can spring a leak during the winter. One of the most common causes are ice dams. These form near the edges of your roof and on your gutters and block the flow of melting snow and other precipitation from exiting your roof. With the melting snow having no way of getting off your roof, it will find any crack or hole it can to continue its exit.
Speaking of cracks and holes, these occur more frequently during the colder temperatures and can be a major cause of leakage. Your roof’s membrane will go through the freezing and thawing cycle consistently as the temperatures fluctuate. This cycle will cause the membrane to shrink as it freezes and expand as it thaws, and enough of this can cause small cracks. As the cycle continues, the cracks will get bigger and bigger, making the chance of a leak in your roof all the more likely.
Recommended: Choosing the Right Roof for Your Rental Property
These cracks in the membrane are only made worse if the seams in your roof have been worn by time and weather. And this can be especially catastrophic when the temperatures start to rise following a heavy snowstorm. As the temperatures go up, the snow quickly melts. This melting snow, insteading of exiting off your roof, will flow directly through these seams, causing major stress to your roof and yourself.
Once you’ve determined why your roof is leaking, you can begin to figure out how to stop it. Obviously, the best, safest, and easiest way to not only figure out what’s causing the leak but how to stop it is by calling a professional roofer to inspect and fix your roof. They will have the knowledge, experience, and tools to make sure your job is done as quickly as possible while also giving you the peace of mind that it was done correctly. For ice dams, a professional will likely use a steamer and a few other heavy-duty pieces of equipment to get rid of the problem. As for bad seams, cracks, holes, and other structural damage, they will have the materials and tools necessary to repair or replace the roof.
But before your roof gets to the leaking point, there are some steps you can take to keep your roof protecting your house for as long as possible. One of the first things you can do is clean your gutters to make sure that nothing is blocking the pathway for melting snow to flow off your roof. A clogged gutter is one of the main causes of ice dams, which are one of the main causes of roof leaks in the winter. This simple, easy-to-perform maintenance step should be done at least twice a year, but you should be checking your gutters more often just to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Another check you should be running regularly is for water damage, both on the interior and exterior of your roof. This includes looking for water marks on your ceiling, worn down shingles on your roof, any moss, algae, or other growth on your roof, and anything else that might seem out of the ordinary to your roofing system. You should also be checking the seals, attic, flashing, and seams to make sure that there are no cracks or holes that could allow water to enter inside your house.
You don’t want to be huddled around the fireplace, sipping nice hot cocoa while relaxing with your favorite book only to be surprised by a drop of water. That drip of water could turn into a stream, which could turn into a stress-induced, financial headache if not taken care of as quickly as possible. Don’t sit there hoping that your roof is ready to protect you from winter’s weather. Call a professional roofer to come to take a look at your roof today and make sure that the only stress this winter brings is whether you should make another cup of cocoa.