Winter storms can involve wind, snow, and ice. Hail can even be a possibility, especially as warmer temperatures move in toward the end of the season. One way to minimize damages from storms is to catch any problems early so that a quick repair can be scheduled before the damages worsen.
Here are three types of damage from winter storms you should look out for and how to fix them.
Storms sometimes come in with a roar, tearing shingles off roofs or damaging other components. Issues can be worse when high winds are combined with temperatures below freezing, since roof components can be more brittle in the bitter cold.
What to Look For
Wind damage is typically obvious from the ground, so you do not need to climb up on your roof. At the most, you may want to survey the roof from the top of a safely secured ladder.
Damaged, lifted, or missing shingles are the most obvious types of roof damage from a wind storm. You may be able to see the damage on the roof, or you may discover shingles — or parts of shingles — on the ground.
Rooftop accessories can also be damaged by the wind. Verify that your chimney caps are still in place, as well as the flashing and vent covers.
Your repair options depend on the extent of the damage. If only a few shingles or accessories are damaged, then you can probably just replace the damaged shingles and fix the broken accessories. Extensive damage may require replacement of part or all of the roof. If the wind resulted in any punctures, such as from a falling branch, then both the damaged underlayment and the roofing shingles need to be replaced.
Ice dams form when ice and snow melts on the roof, but the resulting water is unable to flow off. Instead, the water collects near the edge of the roof where it freezes and forms a dam. Further melt water from up-roof gets trapped behind the dam, which can cause moisture to flow underneath the shingles and leak into the home.
What to Look For
Ice dams can be spotted during the early stages of formation if you inspect your roof daily when there is snow or ice on it. You will like notice a hump of snow or ice forming along the roof edge first. The dams may form anywhere along the edge, but areas where two different roof planes come together are especially prone to dams.
Sometimes dams overhang the gutters. If your gutters look like they have an ice cap on them, then a dam could be forming.
Indoors, you can spot ice dams by taking a peek in your attic. If you see wet insulation or ceiling joists, then a dam could be the cause.
Removal of the ice is the best option. A roofing contractor can safely remove the ice using either a snow rake or heated cables, which will prevent further damage to the roof. They may then take steps to ensure that fresh ice doesn’t form, either by increasing insulation in the attic or using heat cables to prevent further ice collection on the roof.
Although large hail can puncture roofs, any size of hail can cause major damage. Even if the roof looks undamaged, plan for a complete inspection because hail damage isn’t always obvious.
What to Look For
The most obvious damage often occurs to the flashing. If you see dents in the flashing, then the roof likely has damage, too.
Signs of hail damage on shingles include shiny spots where the asphalt coating was dislodged. You may also spot an increased amount of gravel or asphalt granules in your gutters or around the roof’s dripline.
Unfortunately, hail damage can rarely be repaired because the force of the hail compromises the integrity of the shingles. A full replacement of the shingles is often necessary.
Contact Jerry Newman Roofing & Remodeling Inc for more help with any roofing issues you encounter.