Roofing Problems in the Winter Months
During the winter months, winter weather is always a threat. It can affect electrical power, road conditions, and visibility drastically. This weather can also have a significant impact on your roof.
Heavy snow can cause significant damage to your roof. As the snow piles up, so does the weight. This causes a lot of stress on your roof and over the course of the winter, it can weaken your roof.
One of the best ways to control damage from heavy snow is to purchase a roof rake. These are long poles with a “blade” attached to the end, and you can pull snow off your roof from the ground. While roof rakes work great to control the amount of snow on your roof, heavy snow is not usually a problem in Oklahoma.
Another threat is ice dams forming on your roof. This happens when the snow or ice on the roof melts and refreezes before it can drain off the roof. This cause a buildup of ice and retains water on the roof, which means the only place the water can escape is into the shingles, under the shingles, or into the house itself. Ice dams are tough to control and can be dangerous to remove on your own, so it is best to contact a professional.
De-Icing Your Roof
Ice can cause damage as it freezes, unfreezes, and refreezes on your roof. Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take to help protect your roof. Here are a few tips to help you keep your roof in good shape this winter.
Heat cables can be very effective. These cables sit on your roof and heat up to prevent snow and ice from accumulating on your roof. This also helps prevent ice dams. However, heat cables should not be used to get rid of ice dams, only to prevent them.
Another threat during the wintertime is heavy snow on your roof. Large amounts of snow can weaken your roof if not removed. However, you can use a roof rake to pull off snow from your roof and decrease the amount of weight your roof has to support. A roof rake can also remove small amounts of ice.
In some cases, de-icing chemicals can be used on your roof as well. These chemicals work great, but some of them can damage your roof. Make sure to check online or with a roofing professional before using chemicals to de-ice your roof.
Roofing in the Winter: Is it Wise?
Leaks and other roof damage are always hassles and seem to happen at the most inopportune times. Sometimes this is during the wintertime. However, you may be wondering if repairs are viable in the winter. This is a good question to ask. Simply put, yes, you can roof in the winter. However, most roofers will avoid it at all costs – and for good reason.
The biggest danger of roofing in the winter is a slick roof. A slick roof creates an extremely dangerous environment for a crew of roofers walking around and carrying loads on a roof. As freezing weather sets in, small amounts of water can freeze on your roof to create slick, icy spots, which can result in serious injury. For these reasons, any good roofer will be cautious about sending a crew onto a roof when temperatures are below freezing. Another reason why roofing in the winter is not recommended is because the cold weather can slow down the crew, meaning they will not be as productive.
The cold weather can also affect the flexibility of the shingles when they are being applied, and the sealant used to apply the shingles may malfunction. This means your roof’s shingles will not properly adhere to your roof, which can result in leaks and water damage in the future.
Decreasing Energy Costs in the Winter
When you start receiving your winter energy bills, the high costs can be shocking and you may have to pay more than you initially expected. During the winter, temperatures can become very cold and will require you to run your heater to keep the temperature inside your home at a comfortable level. However, you do not have to be stuck with high energy bills this winter. Here are a few steps you can take to create more manageable energy bills.
While it may be tempting to turn up the heat, you can simply throw on an extra layer instead. Turning down the heat and throwing on a sweatshirt is a very easy step you can take to lower energy costs.
Double check your attic insulation and ventilation before winter comes. You can have a professional come inspect your attic to see if it has proper ventilation and insulation.
Seal windows and doors before winter comes. Cold winds can easily seep through small cracks, which causes your heater to work harder, raising energy costs.
Some precautions will even help lower energy costs throughout the year. Additional actions include shutting off lights and appliances when you are not using them, installing LED lights, and buying more energy-efficient appliances.
Drafty and Leaky Windows
Improperly sealed windows can lead to excessively high energy bills. Unfortunately, these improperly sealed areas can be extremely difficult to pinpoint and fix. With this being said, what is the best way to find and fix drafty and leaky windows?
To start, noticeably high energy bills should be a large indicator that you may have a drafty window. Sometimes the leaky areas are visible, but most of the time you will have to find out by receiving that first high energy bill. Luckily, there are ways to find the leak once you have a high energy bill. Turn on all exhaust fans in your home to suck the air out of your home. With all the fans on, go to a window and light a candle or incense stick and put it near the edges of the window. If you spot an area where smoke is getting sucked through, you have found the leaky area.
To fix your window, scrape off all of the old glaze and caulk that was previously used to seal the window. Next, apply new glaze and new caulk and allow each to dry. This should ensure your window is properly sealed.
If you have any further questions regarding winter tips, you can contact us at 918-558-ROOF.
Outdoor Creations Roofing is located at 12816 S. Memorial Dr. in Tulsa, Oklahoma.