While most homeowners aim to repair and replace their leaky roofs during the summer, winter roof repair is always available when you need it. My Roofer Inc. is equipt to handle all your Commercial and/or Residential roofing needs! Aside from some material limitations, installing a roof in the winter is just as simple as it is in the summer.
And it’s worth it to repairing or replacing a roof work when it’s raining or snowing outside. Even with small leaks, the consistent rainfall and moisture in Colorado can cause major damage to the structural integrity of the roof as whole. For example, if your roof has a leak, the expansion and contraction of roofing materials that occurs due to freezing and thawing can worsen it, and even more leaks may appear.
1. Inspect The Roof & Attic.
While it may sound like common sense, it’s important to perform a regular inspection of your roof. Look for curled, cracked, loose or missing shingles. Check flashings and other penetrations, including around chimneys and exhaust vents. Be sure these areas are properly sealed against the weather. If anything doesn’t “look right”, contact a roofing contractor for a professional inspection.
Look in your attic, as well as interior walls, for evidence of current or prior leaks. Roof leaks will often reveal themselves as stains on your ceilings, or as stains and wet areas in your attic. However, not all roofing problems are obvious, and the absence of drafts or leaks doesn’t necessarily mean your roof is structurally sound.
2. Clear Roof Debris.
Check your roof for any leaves, twigs or miscellaneous debris. These materials tend to collect in concentrated areas, where they may gather water or moisture which can break down the shingles on your roof. Roof debris concentrated in valleys also prevents water from properly flowing away from your roof and into your roof’s gutter system.
Don’t forget to trim your trees. If there are any limbs or branches hanging over your roof (or growing close), have them removed. Falling branches can lead to expensive roofing repairs.
3. Check The Gutters And Downspouts.
Keeping your gutters clear is important in allowing snow melt to properly drain from your roof and into the downspouts. In the winter, the weight of ice buildup from clogged gutters can cause significant damage. If they are clogged, gutters and downspouts can’t channel water and snowmelt away from your home which can lead to serious damage.
perform a quick check of the gutter angle, making sloping adjustments as necessary look for gutters pulled away from the home check for leaks and holes (using a garden hose, spray water on your roof to see if your gutters are leaking) Inspect your downspouts for any leaks or signs of excessive wear.
4. Prevent Ice Dams.
Ice dams can form from the buildup of ice and snow inside gutters and along roof ridges. When a dam forms, water may pool up behind it, where it can seep into the interior of your home. Ice dams can cause significant damage not just to the surface but to the entire roofing structure.
While there’s no 100% effective way to eliminate ice dams, they can be minimized. Proper roof insulation, as well as a good attic ventilation system, are key elements in an effective defense against ice dams. Proper attic ventilation means a consistent & efficient flow of cool, dry air through your attic: intake through eave and soffit vents, and exhaust through vents in the gables, deck or ridge. Typically, a correctly sized exhaust fan coupled with adequate soffit venting will ensure proper attic ventilation.
Don’t Postpone Your Repairs Till Spring!
CHECK FOR MISSING OR BROKEN TILES OR SHINGLES
The easiest way for rain to get into your home is through missing or broken shingles on the roof. Find any missing shingles or tiles that need to be fixed and take the proper action to protect your home.
MAINTAIN YOUR EXHAUST FANS
Your attic or bathrooms may have exhaust fans. If they do, ensure they are working properly. If they don’t, install some. Exhaust fans work to remove humidity from a room. Protecting your home from moisture protects the interior roofing should any water make its way in.
If you have a skylight or windows in the attic, inspect them inside and outside. Check that all seals are well-maintained and not stripped away from the window or sill. Even the smallest crack can let water in.
REPAIR YOUR GUTTERS
Regardless of how well-maintained your roof is, your gutters are an essential part of your home. Double-check that they are free of debris, cracks or holes and that the downspout releases water away from the home. This ensures water doesn’t gather on your roof and make its way inside.
HAVE A PROFESSIONAL INSPECTION DONE
Unless you are in roofing, leave the inspections to the professionals. They are equipped with the knowledge, experience and tools necessary to ensure your roof is ready to face the summer by keeping out rainwater, pests and excess heat. Hiring a professional is also safer.
DO ROOFERS WORK IN THE WINTER?
Here’s the short answer: Yes! And while most think winter time roofing is dangerous for roofers they would be wrong! Roofers are comfortable with all safety equipment and the tops of a roof to get a job done, even in icy conditions, rest easy. Roofing contractors need to work in the winter months just like anyone else, and some roofers actually prefer cold conditions to the summer time when they get cooked up there. Most of the time, if it’s 90 degrees outside, its 120 on your roof- yeah, talk about miserable.
PROS AND CONS OF WINTER ROOF REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT
Now lets get to the heart of the issue. Roofing materials all behave differently in conditions below 40 degrees. There are types of materials that should not be installed in these conditions and some that can be installed any time of year, regardless of the weather.
There are pretty much only two flat roof systems that can be properly installed in the winter – PVC and TPO- these terms can be found in our roofing terminology page (http://www.myrooferinc.com/roofing-education.html). These thermoplastic single ply flat roofing products are mechanically installed and seams are hot air welded instead of using adhesives.
Rubber roofs, the alternative to these systems, should not be installed in temperatures below 40 degrees because the adhesives that seal it will freeze and not bond. Contractors who say they can and will conduct rubber roof projects are ignoring manufacturer suggestions and proceeding with this project can result in roof leaks and voided warranties. So, it’s a good idea to hold off on winter roof replacement if you’re looking at rubber roofs until it gets a bit warmer. The same goes for peel-and-stick materials, as adhesives won’t bond, creating leaks. This material can actually blow off your roof.
Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used material for sloped roofs and can be installed in the winter, but caution must be taken by roofers installing it. They must be careful not to bend and crack the shingle. Also, because asphalt shingles are dependent on a proper seal between the overlapping shingles, which requires heat from the sun to bond, these materials often do not seal properly until warm weather rolls around. This can cause them to blow off or leak.
Although our winter temperatures are generally mild in Colorado, asphalt shingles are also susceptible to ice dams – large ice formations along the eaves of roofs caused by poor ventilation or inadequate insulation in the attic. Ice and water shield membrane is a great method to prevent ice dam leaks, but it also requires the sun’s heat to properly adhere to the roof deck, so some of the same shortcomings may apply.
Metal roofs, can be installed in the winter without compromising quality. Cold conditions do not affect metal roofs since they won’t crack due to improper handling. They are designed to allow for expansion and contraction, so the outside temperatures won’t make a difference. Just be sure to use a premium breathable synthetic underlayment to combat moisture caused by poor ventilation and always upgrade intake and output ventilation whenever possible. Whether you need winter roof repair or replacement, mental roofs are safe during any season.
With all that said, roofing projects in any season should be discussed at length with a trusted contractor to prevent common issues and the premature failure of your roof.
LET'S TALK ROOF!
1. Safety in numbers. Make sure that you let someone know that you are working on the roof; don’t do it alone when no one is home or nearby just in case of an accident.
2. Be prepared. Take some time to prepare your supplies in advance. Make a list of what you will need to curb trips up and down the ladder, which can be tiresome and dangerous.
3. Watch the weather. Choose to work on a day that is warm and dry to ensure you don’t slip on the roof’s surface. Also, don’t plan to work too-early in the day or you run the risk of a slick roof due to dew.
4. Don’t hurry. Most accidents and falls happen when people hurry. Take your time and stay safe. If you are in a time-crunch, hire a professional roofing company.
5. Take a seat. Invest in a roofing seat, which is a clever and convenient seat that secures to the pitch of the roof, giving you a place to sit during chores such as shingling, which can be exhausting. Taking a seat may prevent cramps, tingling, and fatigue in your legs when you stand, which may help reduce the risk of a fall.
6. Clean and clear first. Sweep and clear the roof’s surface first. Remove debris, leaves, and dirt that could cause you to slip or fall.
7. Protect yourself. Whenever possible, wear a safety harness and use toe holds for optimal safety on the roof.
8. Use the ladder properly. Be vigilant about ladder safety and only use according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Failure to follow the recommended use could compromise the ladder’s safety and stability.
9. Wear the right shoes. Make sure to wear non-slip, rubber soled footwear with a decent tread whenever walking or working on your roof.
10. Be realistic. Be realistic and know your limits when it comes to the task at hand. If you are unsure or over-your-head, call a pro.
In protecting your home from the elements, your shingle roof takes a lot of abuse in winter. As a homeowners, you can help your roof perform best with a few preventative measures. Roof care is more important in around winter than at any other time of year. This is largely due to the threat of ice dams, which can wreak havoc on your roof and attic and potentially cause major, costly damage.
Do you have some roofing projects that you want to do yourself; without the help of a professional at My Roofer, Inc.? Before you embark on your DIY roofing tasks, make safety a priority with these ten tips for your roofing repair projects:
Summer thunderstorms and hailstorms can hit at ANY time in Colorado, this could vary from a slight rain shower to golf-ball sized hail, and you want to make sure your home is ready for anything! Before the summer storms hit your home, use these roofing tips to ensure you won’t get rained or hailed on OR even worse have damage to your plywood and drywall under your roof!