Can Roof Leaks be Fixed in Winter?

Learn how to identify potential problems with your roof before temperatures drop and how professional contractors can help you fix them.

Can Roof Leaks be Fixed in Winter?

Leaks around roof penetrations, such as chimneys, dormers, and ventilation grilles, can often be repaired by replacing flashings and repairing seals between the bulge and the roof. Typically, a professional roofer can complete these repairs relatively quickly and easily, even in winter. If you notice your roof leaking in winter, what can you do? The key is to identify the problem ahead of time, then call a professional for repair or offer a temporary solution and schedule the repair for spring. Is structural water damage the problem? If so, roofing equipment can fix the problems that are responsible for leaks.

This may include repairing missing shingles or completely replacing compromised ones. As for repairs, almost any repair of any roofing system can be done both in winter and in summer. When lack of heat prevents an immediate seal between the shingles, caulking can be used to provide this seal. Letting shingles stay off the roof for the winter is a good way to turn a minor repair into a major repair. Once snow accumulates on the roof, repairs become extremely difficult and melting snow can cause large amounts of water to fall on the drywall, adding interior damage.

Don't forget that melted snow can cause leaks where rain wouldn't. The classic “ice dam” is one example, but the usually winding path that follows the water that melts under the snow allows you to find paths in the roof system that a constant rain could not do. Expect a roof to drip all the time snow melts on the roof, not just at the end of the snow melting. Homeowners should view the weather before a big snowfall as their “last chance to prevent the potentially devastating consequences that result from known damage to the roof.” Now, I don't want to turn back, but I would like to say that we have done a lot of successful roof repairs even with 6 inches of ice on flat roofs, for example, in Montgomery Village, MD, where there are a lot of townhouses with flat roofs. Needless to say, these repairs would have been relatively easy “before the ice storm”.The key to winter roof leaks is to take preventive measures before temperatures drop.

Clean gutters before temperatures drop and remove excess debris from storms and rain so that melted snow can escape from the roof. You'll also want to make sure your attic is well insulated to prevent condensation from forming. Condensation enters the attic and cannot leave the attic. Therefore, in the winter months, moisture turns to frost, then when heated, it melts and drips towards the ceiling floor, causing those multiple drops and stains on the ceiling. Learn some common reasons why your roof can only leak during the winter months and the problems that a leaking roof can cause.

If you think your roof is leaking, but there's no snow on the roof and there's no rain outside, it's probably not a roof leak. Inspecting a roof for signs of a potential leak is one of the most important services a roofing contractor can provide. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every customer, so you can be sure of the condition of your roof. Metal roofs that require roofers to carry large panels around the roof can be tricky in harsh winter winds.

However, unlike those other annoyances, commercial flat roof leaks during the winter can cause serious damage to the roof structure and the building in general. Many homeowners have the impression that if their roof is damaged in winter, all they can do is cover the roof with tarpaulin and wait for spring. If too much condensation forms, it can have serious consequences for the health of your roof and even lead to roof leaks during the winter. In addition to encouraging dangerous mold growth, this also causes the roof to sag over time, causing a roof leak that may appear to come out of nowhere.

If you are doing the repairs yourself and you are using tar, a torch will come in handy to make it warm enough to adhere to the roof and roofing material. So, if you've seen signs of roof leaks during the winter and want answers or just want peace of mind, we encourage you to request your free roof inspection today. Many people may find themselves in need of roof work in the colder months, yet wonder if it is a good idea to perform roof work during this time. Stefan Mach is also the owner of Frederick Roofing in an attempt to avoid confusion in the Frederick roofing market.

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