Winter poses significant problems for homeowners in the northern regions of the United States. While most homes in these areas have roofs designed to withstand heavy snowfall, the reality is that virtually any home can experience significant issues from winter temperatures aside from snow-related damage. One of the biggest problems for many homeowners is moisture.
This winter, it is worth the effort to take time to ensure your home is ready to handle the snow and ice as well as the moisture-related problems these weather conditions often cause. While a homeowner who has a home with a sturdy roof in New England or other northern region of the country will likely not need to worry about a roof collapse from heavy snowfall, there are other risks all homeowners in these areas should acknowledge.
Check for insulation problems
Roof and attic insulation is one of the most important factors for keeping your home safe from winter weather and the moisture issues it often causes. One of the best ways to check for an insulation problem is to go outside and look at your roof after a light to moderate snowfall. If you notice that the snow seems to melt in patches of your roof, this means that heat is escaping the roof in these areas.
This type of insulation problem can also cause icicle formation. When heat inside of your home rises to the peak of your roof, the upper portion of your roof is warmer than the lower portions. This means snow will melt and drip down toward the cooler part of the roof and refreeze, forming icicles. While icicles can sometimes be hazardous when they grow large and break away from the roof, your main concern with icicle formation should be that it likely indicates an insulation problem in the upper portion of your home.
Protect your property against ice dams
Icicles may be warning signs of serious insulation and moisture issues in your home, but ice dams are even bigger problems. Ice dams generally form along the lower portions of a roof’s surfaces, forming large ice blocks near where the roof’s slope connects to the gutters. As the name suggests, ice dams effectively block water from melting snow and prevent it from reaching the gutter. This causes the water to seep into your roof’s shingles.
In the winter months, water seeping beneath roof shingles can be disastrous. You can prevent ice dam formation by making sure your roof is properly insulated and cleaning your gutters before the winter. When your gutters are blocked, it can cause water from melting snow to back up on the roof’s surface and seep between your roof’s shingles.
Stay vigilant for condensation
Condensation can accumulate in the colder parts of your home because cooler air cannot retain moisture as well as warm air. Condensation in the cooler areas below your roof deck can quickly cause serious problems, including water damage from excess condensation remaining unchecked as well as mold and mildew growth. This type of development can be incredibly hazardous to your family’s health, and removal of mold and mildew can require replacing some structural components of your home.
Condensation can also lead to serious water damage. If you have insulation issues with your roof, your home will likely also experience additional water damage from external forces over the winter. Taking time to ensure your insulation provides the most expansive coverage is the best way to protect your home from these issues during the winter months.
How to prevent moisture issues this winter
The two most important factors in maintaining comfort inside your home during the winter are insulation and ventilation. Proper insulation ensures your home remains comfortable in the cold weather, but this requires more than just trapping warm air inside your home. Even in the winter, it is crucial to ensure appropriate ventilation that provides airflow through your attic and roof. Improper ventilation can cause serious condensation problems and make your home’s heating system overwork itself. This is the last thing you want during the winter months when you and your family will depend on your heating system the most.
You can avoid many of the issues caused by attic moisture by arranging a reliable roofer’s professional inspection. Your roofing team can check the inside and outside of your roof for issues and help you determine the best available solutions. Mr. Roof provides a full range of professional roofing services, so contact us today if you have any concerns about attic moisture this winter.