snow on roof

Winter Roof Issues and What to Look Out For

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Winter is here….and even though your name might not be Jon Snow, you probably want to make sure your own personal castle is prepared. But apart from your yearly fall gutter cleaning, raking your leaves and trimming back bushes, there’s one thing you definitely shouldn’t forget this winter – your roof!

We’ve already talked about how to prepare your roof for fall, but today we’re talking about specifically winter issues that can leave your roof a little less than happy about all that snow and winter storms.

And while winter might not be your idea of the ideal season for getting a new roof installed, it IS absolutely possible to have your roof repaired (or even replaced) during the winter months.

Common Winter Roof Issues

Idaho Roofing Contractors winter roof issues

Learning to recognize issues with your roof that can occur in Winter is the key to preventing the damage and high cost of repairing that damage in the Spring. Unfortunately a lot of homeowners don’t know which signs to look for that tell you your roof has an issue. Here at Idaho Roofing Contractors we’re dedicated to education: Educating our team on the latest technology and detailed information, and educating YOU on your home’s biggest asset – your roof.

Check for condensation on the underside of your roof.

Idaho roofing contractors winter roof problems icicles

Condensation, or water build up, happens when your roof doesn’t have the correct amount of ventilation and is one of the most overlooked issues by homeowners. Condensation is caused when warm air from the inside of your house meets the cold underside of your roof during freezing temperatures.

Condensation buildup can result in a musty smell in your attic space, as well as growth of mold and mildew. In other words, bad news.

How to prevent roof condensation:

The best way to prevent condensation buildup is to properly vent your roof. A professional roofer can install ventilation that allows for maximum airflow. This helps by minimizing the amount of warm air that comes in direct contact with your cold roof, by allowing that warm air to naturally vent to the outside.

Look for ice dams during freezing weather

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Ice dams are caused by temperature variations, especially common in the Treasure Valley winter weather. When the top part of your roof is warm enough to melt the snow, but the bottom parts of your roof are still below freezing, water runs down the roof from the top and freezes closer to the bottom. This makes a literal “ice dam” at the edge of your roof where it meets your gutters.

This means that any new water or snow buildup doesn’t make it into your gutter system (and away from your house), causing water damage and issues with debris. So…bad news!

Also – do a quick check if you see icicles forming! Icicles, like ice dams, are caused by melting snow running down your roof and dripping from gutters.

How to prevent ice dams + icicles:

Preventing ice dams is all about ventilation + insulation. In order to prevent the top part of your roof from getting to warm, you need proper ventilation, and to make sure that your insulation isn’t packed too tightly against the roof. You can always call a professional roofer to do an inspection if you’re seeing icicles or ice buildup on your home’s roof.

Check for flashing leaks

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Roof flashing is the aluminum pieces around your chimney, vents, pipes and along the edges of your roof. Flashing works as a bridge over the gaps between the materials of you roof and any other potentially exposed sub-surfaces. Flashing keeps moisture out, but can be vulnerable to high winds, or ice forming. Both are bad for your roof especially in winter.

How to prevent flashing leaks:

Flashing leaks are common in winter because of the cycle of freezing and thawing. Your roof’s flashing can also get corroded with age, or wind damage. The key to preventing flashing leaks during the winter months is to have your roof inspected and repaired as soon as possible, to avoid months of damage before Spring arrives.

Wondering where to find reviews for local Roofers? There are actually a lot of places you might not know to look:

Take the time to do the research on what other people like you are saying, and you won’t regret it. Previous customers’ reviews will tell you more than almost anything else. Obviously the more reviews the better! Plus, it’s extremely difficult to have a majority of positive reviews, so you can feel a lot more confident when you see 4+ stars.

Talk with your roofing company!

Don’t be intimidated to ask questions! A good roofing company will be happy to sit down and go over your roof in-depth with you, so you know where every dollar is spent and the quality of the product you’re paying for.

You’re much more likely to end up happy with your roof if you’re as educated as possible. Any good roofer will be happy to show you examples of the products and answer all your questions about the process.

If you’re looking for more information on the process of choosing a roofer, be sure to check out these articles:

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