Indianapolis faces a short but harsh winter, with heavy snowfall and chilly winds coming down from the Canadian north. Hence, winter can bring all kinds of damage that you must protect your roof from. Before discussing ways to protect your roof from winter damage, let us understand the impact that cold weather can have on your roof.
How Winter Takes A Toll On Your Roof
1) Ice Dams
This is perhaps the biggest threat to Indianapolis homes in winter. The temperature is usually uneven throughout the roof since heat often leaks into the attic from the living space. The snow that has collected on the roof slowly melts on the warmer parts of the roof surface. The melt water flows down, reaches a spot below freezing point, and solidifies. This builds up over time creating ice dams, which can cause severe damage to the roof.
2) Snow accumulation
When a thick layer of snow accumulates on the roof, it can put excessive pressure on the supports. If the roof is already in a vulnerable state, this can be dangerous. This accumulated ice could start sliding off, tearing off shingles in the process. It can also loosen gutters and drainage pipes.
When hail strikes your roof with full intensity, it could weaken shingles or even shake them loose. They might gouge holes in the weaker parts of the roof.
Icicles are heavy, and they too put a lot of pressure on the roof. When they start melting, they could cause water damage. They are usually early signs of bigger problems like ice dams.
When warm, humid air in the attic comes in contact with the cold roof, the water vapor condenses on the surface of the roof. This could lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which comes with severe health hazards.
6) Water Damage Indoors
Melting ice water might seep through damaged areas of the roof. This could ruin your walls, floorboards, and furniture.
7) Chilly Winds
Cold, freezing winds can hit your roof pretty harshly, striking shingles and loosening them. This leaves your roof vulnerable to the other elements discussed above.
What You Can Do To Protect Your Roof
Ensuring the safety of your roof begins with your attention. Before the coldest months of winter strike, inspect your roof thoroughly for the warning signs of roof damage:
1) Missing Shingles
You may not notice immediately when a few shingles go amiss, but when the winter sets in, melted water will seep into your house through these spots and cause substantial water damage.
If you are experiencing leaks, no matter how minor, find out the spots from where the water is getting in and mark them for repair.
3) Damaged or Curled Shingles
It may not seem like much, but curled and damaged shingles are set to cause major problems in the near future. Ignoring them will only lead to deeper damage over time.
4) Granules in Drainage Pipes and Gutters
If you start noticing granules deposited in the gutters, it means that your roof is eroding. Instead of waiting for bigger signs to appear, get your roof replaced. The investment will be worth the security indoors.
Once you have checked for the warning signs, evaluate whether your electricity bill in the past few winters has been gradually increasing. This indicates leakage of heat, usually caused by poor roof insulation.
You must make sure the trees near your house don’t have branches hanging over your roof. The snow collecting on the branches could crash onto your roof and cause impact damage.
When you are cleaning snow off the roof, try not to scrape all of it off at once. If the cleaning is not done gently, the shingles could get damaged. Following this principle will increase the longevity of your roof.
Taking care of your roof is not about patching up when the effects begin to show. It needs your involvement all year round. Repairing small damages on time and routine maintenance prevents extensive damage over the years.
What Professional Roofing Services Can Do For You
Sometimes it is difficult to determine the exact condition of the roof. That’s why, when it comes to careful inspection, repairing, or improving your roof, you should always turn to professionals. They have the experience required to handle all kinds of roof damage. They are also aware of the latest industry standards and can give you the best solutions to all your roofing problems. Here’s how professional roofing companies can help you out:
- Some companies offer free inspection and assessment. They can give you advice regarding the exact state of your roof and suggest the best ways to fix issues if they find any.
- They inform you regarding superior quality shingles within your budget and install them efficiently. They can also take care of curled or damaged shingles.
- They inspect your attic space and, if needed, add sufficient insulation and ventilation. This keeps your attic uniformly cool, preventing ice dams.
- They are experts at inspecting and detecting leakages. They also know the best ways to fix different kinds of leakage.
- They install a protective ice and water shield, which protects the roof from damage caused by ice dams. Most houses already have this since it’s a part of building codes, but some of the older houses may not. In such a case, it must be carried out urgently.
- They have licenses and insurance required to do roofing work, so they understand how to deal with unforeseen problems when they arise.
- They offer roof cleaning services as well. They clean ice off the roof with the proper equipment and follow the right method so that no harm is done to the roof.
- In extreme cases, they can fully replace your roof and install safety features that were previously not there.
Perfect Time To Repair Your Roof
It’s not wise to wait for heavy winter damages to appear before you make a call to the roofing company. We must remember that prevention is always better than cure. Peak summer is not a good time to get your roof inspected. People rarely talk about it, but the continuous heat throughout summer damages the roof as well.
The workers will also take frequent breaks to avoid dehydration, which will increase the time taken to complete the roofing work. The infamous summer storms in Indiana wreak havoc on the roof too. This could disrupt roofing work and undo whatever progress had been made.
The best time for roofing is actually early winter. Early winter is not a part of the busy roofing season. So it will be much easier for you to find available roofers for the work. Since it’s not the roofing season, costs will be much lower too. Hence, you are not only repairing summer damage but also protecting your roof from winter damage at a reasonable price.
If you can follow these guidelines, doing your bit to keep your roof in shape as well as consulting professional roofing companies when required, you can protect your roof from winter damage. Regular maintenance and care keeps the roof in proper health and gives it a greater ability to withstand the impact of winter. When your roof is strong, no matter how cold the winter, your home will always be cozy and safe.
John Peters Roofing
We at John Peters Roofing have over 20 years of expertise and will make sure your roof is prepared for the harsh winter weather. Don’t wait until there is a major issue to fix your roof. That could cost you way more to repair than preparing it early before anything major happens. Call us today at (317) 786-3315 for a free estimate.