The combination of extremely cold temperatures, wind, snow, and ice can wreak havoc on your roof, which is exposed to all of the elements during the winter season. However, winter's effects on your roof can also pose dangers to your family because of safety and health concerns.
Therefore, preparing your roof for winter's icy return is a wise investment in both your home and your family's well-being.
What Are the Primary Winter Roofing Hazards?
Accumulations of ice and snow are major concerns that affect your roof in winter, as is repeated melting and freezing of water that occurs as temperatures rise by day and fall below freezing at night.
Ice and snow that slide off the roof can pose a danger to life and limb. Snow will often fall from a sharply pitched roof in large heavy sheets, tearing away roofing materials and equipment as well as threatening anyone on the ground. Sliding snow and ice are especially prevalent on metal roofs because of the slick surface.
While icicles hanging from gutters may look beautiful, they can cause serious injury to passersby when they break away in the relative warmth of the daytime sun. They will also cause gutters to sag under their added weight, possibly creating breaches in the exterior walls for water to enter.
Water expands as it freezes and contracts again to liquid form as it melts, so if even a minute amount of water breaches the surface of your roof during the daytime, it can freeze and expand at night, creating an even larger aperture that allows more melted snow or ice to enter the next day.
The negative effects of water penetration are obvious when a visible leak forms, but hidden leaks also pose a long-term danger of mold growth inside walls and ceilings. Mold can cause sickness and possible fatalities for seniors, small children, or those with weakened immune systems within the household.
What Roofing Services Are Needed to Combat Winter Weather?
While general roofing repairs such as replacing or securing loose tiles and flashing are always necessary, they are particularly important in the onset of winter. There are also specific actions that can be taken to help thwart the effects of winter weather.
Gutter Cleaning and Repair
Icicles and ice sheets form along your gutters when water cannot gain access to the downspouts that lead it away from your roof and home. Autumn weather, with wind, rain, and falling leaves, can quickly fill the gutters and downspouts with enough debris to block drainage.
Snow or winter rain will then collect inside the gutters, freezing and expanding over the edges of the gutters and accumulating additional size and weight as snow melts from the roof and freezes.
This added weight will also cause gutters to pull away from the walls, allowing water to freeze behind the gutters, pushing the gutters farther away and damaging the wood, creating opportunities for leaks and accompanying mold to occur.
This can be avoided by having gutters cleaned and secured before winter snows arrive. Gutter guards, which fit atop gutters to allow only water to enter, can keep gutters and downspouts clear for water to drain from the roof in a proper manner.
Snow guards are installed to hold snow in place on a roof until it can gradually melt away instead of sliding off a roof in single unstoppable sheets. Snow guards may be designed as decorative railings along the edges of a roof, or multiple smaller protrusions placed strategically along the surface of the roof to hold snow in place until it has melted.
Winter doesn't need to be a time of worry and stress about your roof. Preparation is the key to enjoying the beauty of winter. If you're in the Greenwood, Indiana area, you can call on Eagle Home Restorations to prepare your roof for the harshest winter weather.