Did Winter Ruin Your Roof?

by HGExpo.com on 04/03/2015 - 11:48 am

Categories: Building & Remodeling, Home Exteriors

By Ed Walkuski

Owner, Hinckley Roofing

When the snow piles up early and stays for the duration of the season, it can be virtually impossible to detect damage on your roof. Unless you actually see water leaking into your home or attic—in which case a lot of damage may have already been done—broken shingles and rotting wood may go undetected beneath a high layer of snow.

If you do see a drip, moisture, or a water spot on your ceiling, it would be a good idea to call your roofing professional to locate and repair the problem before it gets worse—and more expensive. The trouble spot you see inside the house can be caused by broken or missing shingles, or it could be the result of improperly sealed flashing around your chimney.

Don’t assume that the cause is located just above or near the leak or water spot. Water loves to travel, and once it’s inside your home it can trek along rafters and other surfaces before it finds a place to pool and eventually leak through your wall or ceiling.

Ice dams, which are formed by the thawing and re-freezing of snow over warmer portions of your roof, are the main causes of winter roof damage. Usually this happens when water seeps under shingles then freezes and expands. The risk of ice dams can be reduced or eliminated by properly insulating and venting your attic. That allows less indoor heat to escape, minimizing the melting and re-freezing of snow on your roof. Your roofing professional also can install ice barriers and heated cables to help prevent ice dams.

During winters when snowfall is heavier than normal, excess snow on your roof may be a concern. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says a residential roof should be able to support 20 pounds of snow per square foot before it becomes stressed.

You can use the following rule of thumb to determine how heavy the snow is on your roof: About 10 to 12 inches of fresh snow is equal to about five pound per square foot of roof space, so you could have up to 4 feet of new snow before the roof will become stressed. About three to five inches of packed snow is equal to about five pounds per square foot of roof space, so anything more than two feet of old snow could be too much for your roof to handle. Ice and snow tend accumulate more on low-slope and flat roofs, while it more quickly runs off high pitched roofs.

You can call Hinckley Roofing at 330-964-9524. Hinckley Roofing is located at 3587 Ridge Road, in Medina, Ohio.