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Winter Water Damage: How to Protect Your Home from Snow and Ice

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Winter — the season of picturesque landscapes and holidays. Sometimes, it’s a wonderland.

Other times, it’s a season of weather fit for neither man nor beast.

This can present unique challenges for homeowners. Everyone loves to decorate around the Winter, but what about other essential preparations? How can you make sure that your home is ready to endure some of the coldest months of the year, and make it out in one piece?

That’s why we’re here. In this guide, we’ll explore the causes, warning signs, and prevention measures for winter water damage. With expert guidance from the home roof repair professionals from Stanley Roofing, you’ll have all you need to know to keep your roof safe, and your home warm — even when the weather outside is frightful. 


Causes of Winter Water Damage

Heavy Loads of Snow on the Roof:

  • Large deposits of snow on your roof can lead to a number of issues, including, but not limited to:
    • Falling snow and ice
    • Roof collapse
    • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • These can be cleared by using a roof rake.  If you need to get higher to clear the snow loads, please make sure you find secure footing.  Be careful as well — it’s possible sections of your roof could be weakened from the weight, and adding your own could lead to collapse.

Ice Dams:

  • Ice dams can form when snowmelt runs down the roof and refreezes at the colder eaves.
  • These formations slowly accumulate more snow and ice, until one of two things happen: the sun comes out and they fully melt, or they become too heavy for the roof, and it collapses.
  • One of the best ways to deal with ice dams is by using a roof rake, in combination with proper ventilation. Snow and ice won’t form unless the temperature is at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit — which means the warmer your roof, the less likely you’ll have to deal with ice dams. 

Attic Condensation:

  • When warm air rises from your home into a colder place, like the attic, it meets colder temperatures and surfaces. This can cause condensation to form, which can also turn into frost.
  • The more frost that forms, the higher likelihood there is of water damage from frozen fixtures. This frozen water can also thaw in the spring, and cause water damage as it does.
  • One of the best ways to prevent this from occurring is making sure your attic is sealed up. Check around the area for any air leaks — cold drafts are a big giveaway, obviously. As these are sealed, you can also check to make sure any exhaust vans or vents are not accidentally redirecting moisture back into the space.

Left unchecked, these problems can lead to serious structural damage, and harmful effects for anyone inside the home. As always, if you’re beginning to notice these problems occurring frequently in the Winter, give our team a call! We’ll be happy to come out and inspect your roof.

Winter Water Damage Warning Signs

Recognizing Stress on Your Roof:

There are some common signs on your roof specifically to watch out for. They include:

  • Sagging ridge lines
  • Drooping ceilings
  • Water leaks on interior walls and ceilings

There are also some indicators you can look for in your interior, such as:

  • Jammed doors
  • Cracked walls
  • Creaking sounds

All of these combined can point towards some serious potential water damage occurring on your roof, or in the spaces just below it.

Prevention Tips

There are a few ways to keep your home secure from winter water damage in Antioch, or anywhere else.

For starters, make sure your attic has proper ventilation and insulation. This is something that can seem obvious, but is often overlooked, or forgotten about from season-to-season. By maintaining a balanced temperature in your attic, you can possibly get ahead of any inclement winter weather and stop snow and ice from building up on your roof in the first place.

There are a couple ways to ensure proper ventilation. One of the first is making sure your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, as well as any dryer vents, are not discharging into your attic. The air from these areas is notoriously full of moisture, and once that hits any cold air in your attic, you have frost. Frost leads to possible water damage during both the winter, and the spring. Whatever you do, make sure you’re not venting straight into your attic.

The second main way to keep your attic’s temperature balanced is to keep your soffit vents clear.

Soffit vents are those vents on the underside of your eaves, just outside the warm wall area. These lead directly into your attic – which means if they’re cleaned well and often, they provide excellent ventilation. If they’re blocked, however, more air gets trapped in the attic, which leads to a greater possibility of moisture buildup, and more water damage.

What Not to Do

Avoiding Risky Practices

There’s always a little bit of a temptation to try and climb up on your roof to get rid of the snow and ice yourself.

Do not. Do this. Not only is it wildly dangerous, but depending on where in the season you are, you might spend an entire afternoon putting yourself at risk, only to have a bunch of snow and ice come down the next day.

Equipment Placement

Putting a radiator, generator, or water heater in your attic to keep the space warm doesn’t seem like a bad idea. At first.

The problem is that these machines can seriously cause a strain across the area. Over time, they may even cause structural damage, or a collapse.

Chemical Use

It an be tempting to try and throw up road salt of calcium chloride onto your roof. They keep the streets clean — why not your roof, too? 

But these chemicals are highly corrosive, and can actually damage your gutters, downspouts, and any nearby vegetation when all the snow begins to melt. It may seem like an easy fix, but it’s rarely, if ever, the answer.


Winter Water Damage in Antioch? Not Anymore

It’s the holiday season — you have plenty to worry about without adding your roof to the mix. Every time it snows, you don’t want to be wondering if that’s going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Follow the tips found in this article, and you won’t have to worry anymore!

If that’s not enough, feel free to give our roofers a call! We have a team of Antioch roofers who are experienced in dealing with winter water damage in Antioch roofers who are experienced in dealing with winter water damage in Antioch, and the surrounding area! Whenever you’re in need of someone to inspect or repair your roof, feel free to reach out via phone.

Let’s keep the holidays magical and worry-free. Get in touch with our Antioch winter water damage experts today!

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