It's been a pretty mild winter this year in Saskatchewan. While it may almost be over, we aren't in the clear yet. The warmer weather has been great for us, but with it comes more snow, water and a bigger chance of roof leaks. Your roof is a big investment, and you want to think it will protect against ice, snow and meltwater. But even the most well-built roofs can be damaged by the wild winter weather Saskatchewan throws at us. You're not alone if you have noticed a roof leak this winter. Roof leaks are a common issue many homeowners in Saskatchewan deal with every winter. So how do you deal with roof leaks during the Saskatchewan winter? In this blog, the roofing experts at United Roofing & Exteriors will share a few reasons why your roof might be leaking and what you can do to deal with them and prevent them in the future. Read on to learn more!
What Causes Winter Roof Leaks?
Roofs are built to be durable, but like most things, they are not invincible. High winds, snow, and ice take their toll on even the most durable roofs. While the weather can be to blame for some roof leaks, it isn't the only cause! Let's look at some of the most common reasons your roof is leaking in the winter and how to deal with them.
One of the biggest causes of winter roof leaks is ice dams. Ice dams are thick and heavy ridges of ice that form along the eaves of your roof during the winter. As your home warms the snow from beneath and the sun warms it from above, it melts and travels down your roof towards the eaves. When the melting snow reaches the outside edges of your roof, it builds up and freezes. As this continues over time, it causes an ice dam to form. The longer it is left untreated, the more ice will accumulate, and it will begin to seep under your shingles. Once this happens, water will get into your home throughout the attic. This can have a damaging effect on your eaves, insulation, ceilings and interior and exterior walls. This water can cause mould growth and compromise the structural integrity of your roof and even your entire home. There is a number of ways to prevent ice dams. When it comes to removing them, it is better left to professionals to ensure your eaves, roof and home are not damaged in the process.
Poor Attic Insulation
Another common cause of winter roof leaks is poor insulation in your attic. If your attic is not properly insulated, it will cause condensation as warm air enters that space. The heat from your home rises and travels upward. When it reaches your attic, it collects and creates droplets of water as it cools. This condensation can cause serious issues for your roof. As this water falls onto the wooden surfaces in your attic, it can cause the beams of your roof to rot slowly. As the beams rot, your roof will begin to sag, which can lead to its eventual collapse. This dripping water can also cause mould to grow in your attic, which is dangerous for your and your family. The best way to prevent this is to ensure your attic is properly insulated and has an adequate vapour barrier installed. This will prevent condensation from forming in your attic, and the effects will be less damaging.
Improper Roof Ventilation
If your roof doesn't have proper ventilation, it can have very damaging effects on your roof. As heat and moisture form in your home from showering, cooking, and heating your home, they will rise to the attic. If your attic is not properly ventilated, it will get trapped there. The trapped heat will cause moisture in the air to condense into water droplets, similar to if your attic doesn't have proper insulation. This condensation will dampen insulation, contribute to wood rot, and cause mould and mildew, leading to structural damage to your roof and home. Proper roof ventilation prevents heat and moisture from building up and causing long-lasting damage. The best way to prevent this is to ensure your roof has vents installed in the correct places. Your roof should have exhaust vents on the peaks or ridges and intake vents around the bottom. These vents will allow air to flow freely throughout the attic and prevent the damaging effects of condensation.
Clogged and blocked gutters can also be very damaging to your roof. Your gutter system is designed to move water away from your home. If they are clogged with leaves and other debris, they will not drain, and the water will accumulate and lead to ice dams. Blocked and clogged gutters will allow water to sit on your roof for too long. When this happens, the water can get inside the structure of your roof, cause it to rot, and cause water leaks in your home. This water can also cause your gutter system to rust, which will cause them to fail prematurely. Damaged gutters can harm the structural integrity of your roof and your home. The simplest way to prevent this is by keeping your gutter clear and debris-free. The best time to clean your gutter system is before winter. If you could not clean your gutters before winter, you might have to call a professional for help because of ice build-up.
What to Do If You Have a Roof Leak in the Winter?
If you do find a leak in your roof during the winter, there are some steps you can take to minimize the damage. First, move everything away from the leaking area so your belongings don't get damaged. If the leak is dripping, you'll want to use a bucket to catch the water, so it doesn't damage other parts of your home. Next, locate the leak. You may have to get into your attic to find it. Once you find the leak, you'll want to use a bucket to catch the water at the leak so it can't spread further. Once you know where the leak is coming from, you'll need to tarp your roof. You'll have to get on your roof to do this, so ensure you take the proper safety precautions. Once the roof is tarped, the damage should be minimized. This, of course, is only a temporary fix. You will need to contact a roofing contractor experienced with roof repairs (like United Roofing & Exteriors) to repair the leak as soon as possible.
If Your Roof is Leaking, Call United Roofing & Exteriors Right Away!
Roof leaks are a pain no matter what season they happen. Luckily the experienced roofing contractor at United Roofing & Exteriors has years of experience repairing roofs in Saskatchewan. If you have a roof leak, we can fix it quickly and efficiently! We offer affordable roof repair services, so when you have a roofing emergency, you don't have to break the bank to fix it. If you need roof repairs in Saskatchewan, contact us today! We've got you covered.