Any roofing contractor will tell you that their workload increases significantly during the winter months. The combination of cold temperatures and heavy rain and snowfall means this is the time of year when a roof really shows its value - or lack thereof.
Here are some of the most common winter roofing problems and what you can do to avoid them.
The combination of warm air and a cold surface creates a prime environment for the occurance of condensation, which can in turn lead to mould and mildew that looks unattractive and can cause serious damage to the interior structure of your home.
Condensation often occurs in the attic, usually as a result of poor insulation and ventilation. Proper attic ventilation is an important element of a healthy roofing system, not only to prevent condensation, but to help retain warmth and cut down on your energy costs. Investing in a proper ventilation system for your roof is an investment that could cut down on years of expensive roof repairs in the future.
When water and ice accumulate on your roof and under your shingles, they can form ice dams that continue to spread and back up through extended cold snaps, putting pressure on your roof and leaking into the home through cracks and joints, another key cause of water damage.
Roof insulation is once again an important factor in preventing the formation of ice dams, alongside a healthy gutter systems and roofs that are designed to minimise the accumulation of water. Replacing damaged shingles and installing spout extensions to keep ice and water away from the base of your home can also assist in preventing water damage from ice dams.
Like ice dams, icicles are formed by the accumulation of water on your roof during freezing and sub-freezing temperatures. Not only can they damage your roof and gutters, but they're prone to falling, and can represent a real danger for homeowners.
Good gutter maintenance is key for icicle prevention - make sure any leaves, twigs and other debris is cleared out regularly, and if your gutters are already damaged, getting them replaced now will help you to avoid major problems in the future.