The winter months can be extremely tough, especially if you live in areas with freezing temperatures. Many structural problems can occur during the height of this season, which is why as soon as winter is over, it’s important to check your roof for any issues. Once cracks or gaps have been identified, you can have them fixed right away instead of putting them on the back burner. Otherwise, a minor problem can grow over time and become too costly to fix.
Whether you live in Missouri or in other regions that typically receive a significant amount of snow over the winter months, it’s always best to consult professional roofers for your post-winter inspection. Let us discuss everything you need to know about this project, so you can make the most of your roofing investment and ensure your family’s protection all year round.
Understanding the Effects of Snow on Your Roof
ICE DAMS AND ICICLES: Heavy snow loads can produce ice dams and icicles on your roof. These elements can cause your system to weaken due to moisture penetration.
Winter is the time of year to make beautiful snow angels with your kids or curl up with a good book in front of the fireplace. There is more to this season than meets the eye, though. Winter storms can create havoc on roofing systems, causing extensive long-term damage to your structure. The mix of snow, sleet, ice, and rain is a pretty dangerous combination for your home.
Two of the most damaging effects of winter are ice dams and icicles. Ice dams are formed when melted snow makes its way around your gutters and eaves, and then refreezes. They block your drainage system, which can result in water damage over time. When temperatures drop below freezing point, affected areas can break and create leaks. Icicles, on the other hand, usually hang from the roof edge and can indicate a large ice dam problem. They can also initiate moisture problems when left unattended.
Roof Inspection Checklist
IMPORTANCE OF ROOF INSPECTION: By evaluating your roof’s condition after winter, you can spot any problem and fix it before it gets even more extensive.
Experts recommend that you have your roof inspected at least twice a year—before and after winter. This will help you monitor the condition of your roof and will allow you to act on issues before they get worse. When it comes to post-winter roof inspection, be sure to look for these things:
- Missing or Damaged Shingles – Ice dams, icicles, and freezing temperatures can damage your system, as well as your home’s interior. Some of the issues you might encounter are cracking and blistering shingle panels. Strong winter storms can also result in the loss of asphalt shingles from your roof’s surface. You’ll want to address this type of damage as soon as possible to maintain the integrity of your system and your entire structure.
- Water Stains – Water spots on your ceiling or walls can be a sign of roof leaks. Heavy snow loads can also be responsible for cracks in your foundation. Immediately after winter, be sure to locate the sources of leaks to prevent them from causing more problems in the coming months.
MOISTURE PENETRATION: Water stains on the ceilings or walls indicate damaging leaks around your roof.
- Detached Flashing – The inspection should also include other parts of your roof, such as the flashing. To allow your roof to withstand upcoming spring showers and summer storms, flashing gaps need to be repaired efficiently.
- Clogged Gutters – As your main drainage system, your gutters always need to be kept clear of debris. Due to their open structure, however, snow, leaves, twigs, and other items can freely enter your system and cause clogs. Immediately after winter, be sure to clear your gutters with a hose or pressure water and handle any repairs as needed. This will help reinforce your system and keep it functional amid any condition.
- Moss or Lichens – These can not only affect your roof’s efficiency; they can also pose a threat to your family’s health. If moss or lichen is present on your system, have it swept off right away to keep it from spreading. You can also apply a moss removal chemical and sweep it off after it’s been killed for a more effective maintenance.
IN-DEPTH INSPECTION: Inspecting your roof at least twice a year, especially after winter, can help you stay on top of costly roofing problems.
- Rots – Excessive exposure to water during winter can cause your materials to rot and weaken. During the inspection, your roofer should look around and spot any signs of rots. They should fix these issues immediately to preserve your structural integrity.
The Real Value of a Professional Inspection
Most homeowners don’t pay attention to their roof’s condition until real damage has been done. Even when they try their best to look for potential damage, however, there are several areas that can escape, especially if they don’t have a trained eye. That’s the reason having a comprehensive roof inspection done by a fully trained and reliable roofer should be tackled once the snows are gone.
An experienced professional knows what hidden issues to look for, such as underlayment damage left behind by ice dams, while also evaluating more noticeable problems, such as shingle or flashing damage. Simply put, proper maintenance done by a pro will help you save money in the long run, as well as help prolong your roof’s life span.
After inspecting your roof, your contractor will recommend the best way to deal with problems. Oftentimes, repairs, ranging from simple ones to more extensive ones, are necessary to retain your roof’s good health. When repairs are not enough, however, they will suggest a complete roof replacement. This is actually the most effective way to prevent major problems on your roof. Although it might be costlier than repairs, this project is guaranteed to offer excellent protection and will pay for itself through the years.
Dealing with potential problems before they get to be major ones will keep your roof ready for seasonal weather difficulties. Being proactive will also help keep your system strong and functional for decades.Before investing your hard-earned money into anything, do take the time to consult a trusted professional.Click To Tweet
Their vast industrial knowledge can help you make informed decisions about your roofing system and make sure your investment doesn’t go to waste.
A passionate home improvement contractor, Lisa Sanning is the co-owner of Xterior Pro. She loves writing blogs to share what she’s experienced working in the industry for many years, as well as her knowledge on home improvement, among other things. Outside of work, she is a loving wife and mother to three kids.