How is your roof holding up during this crazy winter season? Especially in colder climates like ours, roof damage can occur easily from stormy weather and extreme temperature changes. Your shingles are going to take the brunt of wind, snow, ice, even rain – sometimes, all in one day! So don’t wait until you see water stains inside on the living room ceiling before you investigate if your roof is safe, sound and stress-free. When you know what certain weather conditions can cause, you can determine what preventative measures or repairs you may need to get done, and pronto. This means you can improve your property in the spring, instead of spending time and money on costly repairs that are too far gone for DIY repair. Below are three major causes of roof damage and the steps you can take now to prevent extensive issues.
- Choose the next good-weather day and clear snow from the roof. Bundle up, use a ladder to climb up and brush snow away with a broom or shovel. Like any debris, snow tends to collect in crevices and places where melting moisture can break down the shingles, or prevent water from flowing off the roof and into the gutter system.
- Check for leaks that may have already formed. Common places where roof leaks can start include flashing, chimneys and skylights. It’s also a good idea to check for moisture seepage inside, at the attic level.
2. Ice Buildup. Fluctuating temperatures can cause heavy ice on the roof to melt, re-freeze and accumulate, causing ice dams that prevent snow melt and water from draining down the gutters properly. This can result in shingle damage and more leaks.
- Break up ice dams with an ice pick or a shovel. Just as you would with snow, clear the roof of ice thoroughly. Applying ice melt can help.
- Clear the gutter system of ice too, making sure the entire system is in good condition and drains are unobstructed.
- Consider having the attic properly insulated and vented so heat from your home cannot escape through the roof, keeping it at a temperature that avoids conditions where ice damming occurs. Learn more about attic insulation here.
- Fix shingle damage immediately with the right tools. You’ll need new shingles, shingle nails, a hammer, a pry bar or shingle remover and protection for your hands and face.
- Loosen and pry away the remainder of a damaged shingle, including the nails (which may need to be cut with a hacksaw or utility knife). Fit and hammer a new shingle in place. Learn more about shingle replacement and repair here.
Good luck with all your DIY roof endeavors – you’ll be glad you took the time! And as always, if you have questions or comments please utilize our section below or the contact us page on our website.
About the Author
Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.