So far, it’s been an average winter without huge snowfall or lots of ice that people typically associate with doing damage to their home. However, it doesn’t take snow or ice to cause roof damage leading to a roof leak. In winter, there are many issues that develop simply because it’s winter and the temperatures fluctuate between above freezing and below freezing. And, if we do end up with some snow or ice this year, there will be even more issues. Winter weather damages your roofing just as much as any other season.
Freeze Thaw Cycle is Often to Blame
Most of us know that water expands when it freezes. If you have a small hole in a shingle or a missing nail somewhere and it rains, water ends up in that hole. When that little bit of water freezes, it expands and makes the hold a little bigger. As the cycle repeats itself over the winter, that small hole that once didn’t allow water into your home has not created a roof leak.
This doesn’t only happen to your shingles. Another common area the freeze thaw cycle causes damage is to your flashing, especially around your chimney or dormers. Flashing needs to be completely sealed to do its job, when even a little water gets in and expands, it pushes it further out and then the unsealed area grows and you have a roof leak.
Snow & Snow Melt
When we have even a few inches of snow and it sits on your roof eventually it will start to melt. Just like rain, that water can get into the smallest of holes and go through the freeze thaw cycle creating a roof leak. However, when we have a big snow event, we often see ice dams form. Ice dams can be from a combination of clogged gutters, improper ventilation and poor attic insulation. If you have long icicles that form off your gutters, chances are good that you have a roofing issue bigger than a roof leak.
Ice dams and the problems they cause can’t be repaired until after the snow melts and the cause (or causes) are determined. Your roofer may need to add insulation, increase your ventilation or uncover your soffits. They may also find damage to your shingles, especially at the roof’s edge and gutters.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that because we’re not seeing high wind gusts from summer storms or hail that the weather isn’t aging and possibly damaging your roof. If you have a roof leak, reach out to Peak Roofing Contractors for your free estimate for your roof leak repair or a solution to your ice dam issues. We can be reached through our contact form or by calling (703) 753-4585.