Winter can put even the sturdiest roof to the test, which is why you need to be aware of potential roofing problems during this season. So, what are the common roofing problems that homeowners may encounter in winter?
Ice Dams and Icicles
Ice dams are formed when the roof’s surface temperature is raised above freezing, which melts the snow on it. The meltwater would then refreeze as it reaches the roof edge. As this cycle repeats, a dam-like shape forms. Meltwater that flows over the ice dam’s edge creates icicles. Ice dams cause roofing problems like moisture infiltration at the roof’s edge, increased downward pressure on the gutter hangers and, outward pressure on the gutter troughs caused by expanding water.
Ice dams are caused by one or more of the following reasons:
- Damaged or insufficient roof insulation – The roof needs to be properly insulated to minimize heat leaking through the roof. During summer, a properly insulated roof absorbs less heat from the sun and helps reduce indoor cooling costs. Insulation can also be damaged by excessive humidity or direct contact with water.
- Inefficient attic ventilation – An ideal roofing ventilation system consists of exhaust vents at the ridges and intake vents at the soffits. If properly sized, it should purge excess heat and moisture from the attic area, and keep the roof cool.
- Clogged gutters – Meltwater can be trapped on the top of gutters if they’re already full.
Accumulated snow can get extremely heavy. A roof that’s not rated for heavy weights, has damaged structural components or hasn’t been maintained regularly is more likely to collapse under accumulated snow. Old roofs need to be inspected by a roofing professional to make sure it can withstand the added weight. As an added bonus, reinforced roofing structures are ideal for switching to heavy materials like slate and tile.
Condensation in the attic forms when trapped humidity in the attic comes in contact with a cold surface like an uninsulated roof deck or an attic window equipped with single-panel glass. Excessive moisture can cause damage to the roof’s structural components as well as allow mold and mildew growth. Addressing ventilation and insulation issues can help maintain humidity levels in the attic.
A1 Roofing & Construction is your leading provider of roof repair and other roofing services. Give us a call at (401) 265-1019, or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Providence and Warwick, RI, as well as in New Bedford, MA.