Beware of These Winter Roof Concerns

Guardian Winter Roof Concerns
April 3, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.

By Guardian Home Services. 

Here is a list of common roof issues that can happen over the winter and when to call a professional.  

Even the best laid roofs will encounter problems at some point. You will have to call a professional roof repair service for a number of common problems, and it is best to do so promptly to avoid the repair job from getting worse. Storm damage, damage to flashing, pests, condensation and proper ventilation are all problems for your roof that can arise from the winter season.  

One of the most common roofing problems facing homeowners is damaged flashing, especially around the chimneys. Flashing is the thin, weatherproofed pieces of metal that are designed to keep water out from under the shingles. If it is damaged, water can seep under the shingles and damage the roofing platform underneath and leak into the attic. Most commonly, roof leaks caused by damaged flashing have a tendency to occur: 

  • Near the chimney 

  • Around gutters 

  • At skylights 

  • Close to vents and pipes 

  • In low spots or valleys 

If you see signs of a leak, including discolored ceilings or damp walls, contact Guardian Home Services for an inspection from our commercial roof repair specialists. 

Storm damage is another very common roof problem. The impacts from hail storms weaken the shingle, shorten the lifespan and may lead to leaks under the shingle. Strong winds can loosen the shingles from the roofing substrate, create cracks in the substrate or remove the shingle entirely. One of the most likely places where damage can occur is the high roof ridge, which is more exposed to the wind than other parts of the roof. Debris like tree limbs will also damage your roof and not just by falling on your roof. If the branches rub or scrape against your roof on a regular basis, they can scratch the surface and wear down the top layer. Keep all trees and shrubbery trimmed back to avoid contact and proactively protect your roof. Once a large storm has passed, have a Guardian roofing inspection performed to address any issues that may have occurred. 

If you live in Washington, chances are you have an appreciation for wildlife, but that doesn’t mean you want outside critters living in your home. Mice, rats and other rodents, like squirrels, can create huge problems for your home. While many animals hibernate during the winter, rodents stay awake and try to make a home in the dark recesses in your crawlspace and attic. They can damage your walls and floors and bite through your electrical wiring, exposing your home to a fire hazard. When these pests chew through your walls, etc. to access your home, they allow moisture and other pests into your home, too. Invading pests may also carry various diseases such as salmonella and Hantavirus, putting those inside the home at risk. If you do find evidence of rodents in your home or attic, do not wait it out! If you see one rodent, there are always more. Call Guardian Pest Control to address the issue immediately before serious damage is made to your home and health. 

Another common roof concern is condensation. Condensation is one of the chief forms of moisture damage in roofing systems. Lack of ventilation is usually responsible for the accumulation of moisture. For steep slope roofs common to Pacific Northwest homes, the strategy for reducing the risk of condensation is to ventilate the attic. The attic temperature should be as close to the temperature of the outside as possible, and this is achieved through equal parts intake and exhaust. If your roof is not ventilating correctly, condensation has the potential to build, deteriorating your roof from the inside out. Proper ventilation, vapor barriers and adequate insulation combined work to protect your roof, attic and crawlspace by regulating temperature, reducing moisture and preventing roof rot.     

Having proper attic insulation and ventilation is extremely important to keep your house warm and moisture free. If you do not have the correct amount and type of insulation, you are wasting your heat in the winter, allowing moisture into your attic, and making your HVAC system work harder. Upgrading your insulation is one of the best ways to weatherize your home and reduce the cost of your utility bills. Most homes don’t have enough insulation. If you look across your attic and see the floor joists, you definitely need more insulation. You should have an even blanket of about 16” to 18” of insulation. You also need to make sure your insulation has the right R rating. The R rating refers to the resistance to conductive heat flow of a material measured in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value— the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. For Washington homes, fiberglass insulation should have an R-rating of R38 to R49. 

If you believe your home or roof is at risk with one or all of these common winter problems, schedule an inspection with a Guardian Roofing Professional as soon as possible. A thorough inspection will reveal potential hazards like inadequate insulation, built-up condensation, pest activity, storm debris and more. Our team is standing by, ready to help you protect and fortify your roof, attic and crawlspace. 

You count on your roofing contractor to keep your home safe and dry. Guardian Roofing & Pest Control is committed to providing top-quality service, professionalism and workmanship. 

Have a question? AskARoofer.  

Find your local roofing contractor in the RoofersCoffeeShop® Contractor Directory.  

Original article source: Guardian Home Services 

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