Winter months take a toll on your roof. If your roof is not in shipshape condition, it can put you to a lot of time wasted, and expense on account of significant damage that needs to be urgently remedied. It is, therefore, advisable that you take the steps necessary to ‘tone up’ your roof condition while the weather is good for making roof repairs before the arrival of winter. It is rightly said, ‘A stitch in time saves nine’.
A leaking roof is one of the biggest problems. The most common sources of leaks can be cracks and damage to the flashing around vents and chimneys. Other potential reasons can be missing and worn out shingles or condensation as a result of inadequate ventilation in the attic.
A pointer that your roof system needs a leak repair is the presence of ceiling spots. Visual inspection from a vantage point allowing you to externally check your roof can reveal missing or cracked damaged shingles. These should be replaced at once to avoid structural damage to the roof deck and the home interior. If a crack in the flashing is diagnosed, the flashing needs to be replaced or can be repaired if the damage is small.
If shingles appear curled or buckled, the problem is probably on account of aged shingles or damage to the felt underlayment under the shingles. Underlayment is a weather protection layer in the roof and its damage can lead to the accumulation of moisture; the ultimate enemy of all roofing systems. Underlayment is now available in self-adhering rolls that are applied directly on the roof deck or can be laid as a layer on top of the existing underlayment.
Damaged shingles should be replaced and underlayment through costly must be replaced, must be changed if required. If shingles appear blistered, it is usually because they were applied on a wet deck or due to inadequate roofing ventilation. Proper roof ventilation allows the natural flow of hot air upward out of the attic and keeps the attic cool and dry. In winter, the prime cause for concern is the moisture build-up in the attic.
Despite the vapor barrier in the floor of the attic, unwanted moisture seeps into the attic with the air leaking through ceiling light fixtures, access panels, fold-down attic stairways, bathroom exhaust fans, etc. The cold outside of the roof makes moisture condense on the framing members and inside the roof deck and supports the growth of mold, mildew, and rot. This seriously affects roof deck strength and longevity. Inadequate attic ventilation can also make ice dams form on the shingles.
Water accumulation behind ice dams can seep into the attic/house through the shingles. It is therefore absolutely essential to ensure proper attic ventilation. If there is inadequate attic ventilation, you may get a ridge vent (if your roofing system does not have one) installed to improve ventilation. Alternatively, a gable vent in the sidewall of the attic can be installed depending on the construction of your roofing system.
Another solution is to have a powered ventilator installed. Improved ventilation will prevent moisture condensation that can severely damage the roof. If you face roofing problems it is best to secure the services of a qualified roofing contractor for fixing things up. Roofing work is expensive but it will be worth the expenditure in the long run, and to make sure your roof survives the winter.