5 Essential Tips to Preventing Winter Roof Leaks

preventing winter roof leaks

While snow is great for skiing and snowboarding—and all the other winter activities Canadians love—it’s not so great for your roof. During the winter, your roof undergoes a fair amount of stress. From freezing and thawing conditions to blizzard winds, there are lots of opportunities for winter roof leaks to occur. 

In this post, we’re providing the key tips you need to prevent winter roof leaks and keep your home safe all season long. We also provide roof inspections and roof snow removal in Edmonton and surrounding areas. 

What causes winter roof leaks?

While it’s important to prevent winter roof leaks, first you need to understand what causes them. There are a few factors that can lead to roof leaks in the winter, such as: 

Ice dams

We see a fair share of weather fluctuations during the winter months. There are days of heavy snowfall, followed by extreme cold and warmer periods. When snow falls and ice builds on your roof, it’ll start to melt during these warmer temperatures. That water and moisture will move down your roof and start to pool around your eaves. Then when the weather freezes once again, it’ll cause ice to form. This is what we refer to as ice dams. 

Another cause of ice dams is clogged eaves. When water and moisture can’t pass through your eaves and downspouts, water will start to build up and freeze when the temperature drops. To prevent this leading cause of winter roof leaks, make sure you clean out your eaves in the fall before the snow starts.

Additionally, faulty eaves can also lead to ice dams. If you want to learn more about replacing your eaves, check out this past post

Damaged or missing shingles

Winter winds and blizzards can wreak havoc on your roof. Not only can high winds tear shingles off your roof, they can also cause debris (like branches) to hit your roof and damage your shingles.

After a snowstorm or high wind conditions, always inspect your roof. However, as a note on safety, never go on your roof during icy, snowy, or windy conditions. If these weather conditions persist and you’re worried about your roof, call your preferred Edmonton roofing company to inspect it for you. They’ll have trained roofers with the right equipment to safely inspect your roof. 

Cracks in the roof membrane

Your roof membrane is responsible for protecting your home or commercial property from water or moisture. And while these membranes are designed to handle an array of weather extremes, they are not fully impervious to freezing and thawing periods. During these fluctuations, your roofing membrane undergoes stress, which can lead to cracks. Once this occurs, water and moisture can pass through and cause leaks. 

What types of damages will winter roof leaks cause? 

While a leak in the winter can damage your roof, that’s not the only cause for concern. When moisture seeps into your internal assembly, it can cause a new set of problems, including:

Damages to structural integrity

As water enters the internal assembly of your home, it can rot the wood. From there, the structural integrity of your home is jeopardized. When this occurs, you’re at risk for leaks and roof collapses. 

Mold & mildew

When moisture and water are trapped inside your home, it can ultimately lead to mold and mildew growth. According to these statistics, around 70% of homes have mold. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that mold can cause a wide range of health conditions, including:

  • Asthma 
  • Allergic reactions (itchy eyes/skin, stuffy nose, and wheezing)
  • Fever 
  • Shortness of breath

You can control mold growth by ensuring all leaks on your roof are inspected and repaired as soon as possible. 

How to prevent winter roof leaks

1. Remove or prevent ice dams

If you spot an ice dam on your eaves, remove it before it can cause water issues and leaks. If you’re unsure how to remove the ice dam on your roof, contact a roofing company in your area. They have the skills, knowledge, and equipment to safely remove the ice dam without damaging your shingles. They’ll also inspect your roof and determine if there are any other issues to address. 

2. Ensure your shingles are in good condition before winter hits

Fall is the perfect time to inspect your roof, eaves, and downspouts. While roof repairs can occur in the winter, they’re much easier and less costly to perform before the snow comes. We perform Edmonton roof inspections, so you can gain peace of mind, knowing your roof will provide the protection from above you need to keep your home and family safe all winter long. 

3. Keep your roof clear of snow drifts

Snow drifts can cause many issues for your roof. Not only can they damage the structural integrity of your homes, they can also lead to winter roof leaks if not managed properly. To learn more about the dangers of snow drifts on your roof and how to remove them, check out this past blog post!

4. Address a problem right away

Do not ignore any leaks coming from your roof. Perform an inspection as soon as it’s safe to do so. And contact a roofing contractor or professional to repair any damages. Leaving leaks can cause costly and stressful damages. If you’re unsure why your roof is leaking, a roofer will help you narrow down the cause and provide you with a solution. 

5. Insulate your attic

We all know that heat rises. And if your attic isn’t properly insulated, heat can pass through the roof, causing condensation. If too much condensation occurs, it can cause a leak. From there, it presents a warm, humid environment that provides the perfect conditions for mold growth. To prevent this, contact an insulation company to inspect your attic and add any insulation if necessary. 

Edmonton roof inspections & snow removal

Is your roof leaking? Or are you worried about any potential leaks due to ice dams or damaged shingles? We provide experienced roof inspections and roof snow removal across Edmonton and surrounding areas. Contact us today for a free estimate