Winter weather is fast approaching for parts of the world. In some regions of the United States, that can mean frigid temperatures and extreme weather conditions with snow and ice accumulations leading to issues with the roof.
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is one of those states that sees its fair share of these wintry mixes, with residents often finding a need for roof repair in Philadelphia relating to “ice dams” forming. With adequate care and the proper precautions, homeowners can come better prepared when the frosty air starts to rear its bristly temperatures.
How To Avoid The Need For Costly Roof Repair In Philadelphia
Winters in Pennsylvania tend towards being exceptionally harsh and bitterly cold, with many opportunities for inclement weather like ice and snowstorms. The frosty conditions have the likelihood of creating “ice dams” that accumulate on the roof with the potential for damaging the structure, causing a considerable expense to repair.
These generally result from a heavy snowfall with freezing temperatures that follow. Since there are warm spots throughout the roof, there are areas where the snow will melt. That water will travel, ending up on the cold surfaces where it will change to ice, developing into an “ice dam.”
It’s not necessarily the dam as the primary issue; it’s the snow melting behind the dam causing substantial concern. Pooling water from melted snow or ice seeps into the shingles to the house’s interior, leading to extensive damage to the walls, flooring, and electrical, not to mention the exterior structural deterioration.
The key to eliminating the issue is prevention, and there are a few ways to work towards that outcome. Find out some answers to this and other tough roofing questions at https://www.thisoldhouse.com/roofing/2101930/33-of-your-toughest-roofing-questions-answered/. Let’s check out some precautions you can take for this particular problem here.
More than the standard amount of attic insulation
The heat that transfers to the roof during the cold months escapes from the household. A common reason is inefficient insulation or not enough to keep the heat in. That heat that leaks from inside is responsible for the melting snow that ultimately pools.
Other causes are gaps in drywall or cracks or around pipes or light fixtures. These areas will need additional insulation to preserve the integrity of the structure. Perhaps, you’re versed in these skills and can DIY insulating these locations, or you might feel more comfortable letting a professional handle the work to keep it adequate to prevent heat loss to the roof.
Heat loss can be further reduced with weather stripping and caulking in areas with heat exposure.
Ventilation in the attic needs inspecting.
There needs to be sufficient ventilation happening within the attic space to aid in bringing cooler air into the area from outdoors and sending the warmer air out. That flow keeps the shingle temperature consistent, disallowing the snow from melting, so ice dams can’t develop.
With most homes, you’ll find soffit/roof vents, but you need to ensure that these are always open. Regularly check your attic vents to ensure these are not clogged, or there are no obstacles in the way blocking the vents and that they’re clear of dirt or debris, including leaves.
Roofers recommend the installation of a “continuous ridge vent” as an added precaution if your home is absent of this specific preventative measure.
Possibility of a new roofing renovation
For those who have a home with remodeling projects that need doing, including the potential for a new roof, there is the possibility to avoid ice dam repercussions if you plan for prevention. Reputable roofers in areas where these weather conditions are prevalent understand the need for “WSU” or “Waterproof Shingle Underlayment.”
These generally go along the edge of the structure next to the gutters and where there are joints. The material is responsible for preventing leakage into the household if there is a blockage due to an ice dam.
This will, of course, be the most costly precaution and preventive measure to preserve the integrity of your home. It is, though, the optimum line of defense, particularly if you intend to do a roof redo at some point ultimately.
The best time to do a replacement is before you experience any repercussions from the elements.
Why Roof Inspections Are A Necessity
As a homeowner in Philadelphia, for the health of your roof, once you get through the worst of the winter with spring on its way, it’s wise to have the roof inspected to see how it maintains through the harsh season. The contractors can ensure there are no damages to any of the materials and assure the structure is sound, making repairs if necessary.
The suggestion is roofing inspections should take place twice each year for optimum longevity, especially if you did go ahead with replacing it. Keeping the surface free of debris, trimming back trees (and asking neighbors to do the same with overhanging foliage), and having regular inspections will ultimately extend the lifespan. Look here for maintenance tips.
Roofers can detect the slightest defect with each inspection before they turn into substantial issues and repair these or replace faulty materials saving considerable costs in the long run.
Philadelphia winters can be exceptionally harsh with inclement weather and frigid temperatures. That could create challenging conditions for a roof, especially if preventative measures weren’t taken to protect the structure.
If there isn’t enough insulation in the attic or heat has a way to escape allowing heavy snowfall to melt in patches on the roof’s surface, this can lead to the creation of “ice dams.” With the development of an ice dam comes pooling of melted snow behind these blockades, and where there are pools of water is the potential for leaking into the household.
Several precautions can be taken to relieve the issue as discussed here; the most dramatic would be to re-roof the home if that’s in your remodeling plans from the time you move into your home or if you’re roofing expert recommends that.
Otherwise, the other less intrusive options can prove beneficial in reducing the likelihood of damages to the roof or the interior of your home.