We've survived another winter. As temperatures continue to rise and spring flowers blossom, some will find that winter has left one final reminder of its presence - roof damage. Find out what you need to look for once the snow has melted, to catch minor issues before they turn into major repairs. Discover how to locate and repair roof problems triggered by winter weather, when you enter the Nail Gun Network.
While weather in general will gradually take its toll on a roof over time, it's been found that roof problems frequently stem specifically from winter weather. The convergence of warm and cold, ice, and snow increases the amount of wear and tear on a roof. Take a look at these causes for winter roof damage.
- Ice Dams: As melted snow refreezes and turns to ice, it typically builds up wherever there is an angle or corner in the roof - where the water has room to pool. If gutters are clogged or do not have adequate drainage, this can compound the problem. Ice dams create several potential problems. From a safety standpoint, they present potential danger to anyone that is standing below them, in the event they separate from the roof and fall. From a structural standpoint, ice dams create a significant amount of extra weight collecting at the same spot. Over the course of winter, this can loosen shingles and cause damage to gutters or woodwork that is directly exposed to this weathering agent. The additional weight can also cause structural stress - leading to leaks and possible structural damage.
- Snow Accumulation: Small amounts of snow can actually insulate from the cold, but large accumulation (especially wet, heavy snow) creates extra weight that puts additional pressure on the roof frame and structure. Heavy snow can lead to cave-ins, collapses and other framing issues. There isn't much that can be done to prevent the amount of snow on your roof, but you can make sure your gutters and drains are flowing properly in the fall, to make sure that as snow melts it can flow away from the roof. Properly ventilating the area directly below your roof - typically an attic or crawlspace - will help to distribute heat equally, allowing snow that has accumulated on a roof to melt evenly and prevent refreezing or uneven snow melt.
Once the snow has melted, here's what you need to look for to see just how well your roof held up throughout the winter.
- Loose Shingles: These are relatively easy to detect. Generally, you'll see any separation from the roof board. If the shingle has become completely separated from the roof structure, it will need to be patched or replaced with a new shingle.
- Wood Rot: This is harder to detect. Unless a shingle has been completely removed, you probably won't see much rot. The shingle is designed to protect the wood sub-surface, so long as moisture is not able to build up underneath the shingle. In the event of ice damming, you might see damage to trimwork in the corners where ice accumulated.
- Gutter Flow: If you noticed your gutters overflowed frequently during the winter, it might mean that the flow is being blocked by debris. It could also mean that your gutters are not large enough to handle the flow of water from your roof. It's extremely important to draw the water away from your home.
- Leaking: Though this might seem like the easiest way to detect trouble, small leaks can often go unnoticed until they become big problems. Obviously, large damp spots on your ceiling will indicate water is coming inside. For smaller leaks, look for bubbling or discoloration in the ceiling. You can also check your attic or crawlspace to look for moisture entry.
If you determine your roof is in need of repair, Nail Gun Depot offers a variety of roofing nailers, cap staplers, hammer tackers and other fastening tools for roofing applications. As always, leave it to the professionals unless you have experience working with roofing. Always make safety your top priority.
Nail Gun Depot will also be celebrating Roofing Month throughout May 2015. Take advantage of special discounts, free bonus items, and special roofing content on the Nail Gun Network.
~ The Nail Gun Depot Team