Did Your Home’s Roof Survive The Winter?

April 4, 2014
Filed under: Newsletters By Todd Miller

Did Your Home Survive The Winter

Your home’s roof provides its primary defense against the elements. For that reason, it makes sense to have your roof be in good condition and performing like it should. Unfortunately, harsh winters like the one we just had, take a real toll on roofs. Depending upon the age of your roof, it may have been subjected to ice, snow, and prolonged cold like never before.

So, how do you know whether winter weather damaged your roof or resulted in other concerns? Please read our six suggestions:

  1. From your attic, inspect the underside of your roof deck for dark spots, especially around penetrations as well as the perimeter of your home including the downhill ends of any valleys. Dark spots will likely indicate areas of water infiltration. They could be consistent, active leaks, or areas where water is just gradually soaking into the decking.
  2. Inspect your attic insulation, airspace, and roof deck for high moisture content. High moisture can mean leaks and it also usually means inadequate ventilation. Unfortunately, when your insulation is damp, its effectiveness is reduced dramatically. High moisture means that your attic and home are at high risk of developing mold, which can be dangerous and damaging.
  3. If you were in your attic over the winter and saw frost on the nails sticking through your roof deck, or on the back side of the roof decking itself, that indicates excessive moisture in your attic as well as inadequate ventilation. Excessive attic dampness can be caused in part by air leaks from your living space into the attic. We generate a great deal of moisture in our homes and, unless it is fully sealed in the living space, it migrates into the attic and will condense if not properly vented outward.
  4. Look for roof shingles that have lifted up. This can be caused by cold, wind, ice, and/or snow. Despite the roofer’s myth, these shingles will likely not “seal back down” and return to their intended level of integrity and protection.
  5. Look for missing shingles or badly cracked shingles. Winter time thermal cycling caused by temperature swings can result in shingles failing in this manner.
  6. If you had ice collection and dams on your roof over the winter, the shingles have sustained some damage whether or not you experienced active leaks from the ice. This damage likely needs to be addressed to prevent ongoing problems. Please remember that ice damming is caused by inadequate attic ventilation and insulation, roof geometry, weather conditions, and air leaks from the living space to the attic.

If you are inspecting your roof and have questions, please call us at 1-800-543-8938. You can also contact us via email (photos of your roof are always helpful in analyzing potential problems) at . And, of course, if this is your year for re-roofing, please consider consulting with one of our experienced independent dealers about your roofing needs. When you talk to contractors, please be mindful of the fact that, with changes in building technology, the need for attic ventilation has increased for many homes. Re-roofing is the most ideal time to re-balance your attic ventilation, ensuring a healthy home.

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