Common Winter Roofing Problems to Look Out For This Season
The days are getting colder and the nights are getting longer, which can only mean one thing: winter is here! Winter may be wonderful for many great reasons, but the harsh weather conditions can threaten the condition of your property and damage your roof.
We’ve already shared our top tips for preparing your home for winter, with getting a roof inspection from the professionals extremely high on the list, but it’s also important to identify some of the most common winter roofing problems. Once you know what you are looking for, it is much easier to spot weather-related issues with your roof to make sure they are resolved quickly and efficiently.
To help you protect your roof this season, make sure you:
- Have the phone number of your local roofing professionals to hand;
- Have your roof inspected by specialist roofers;
- Look out for the telltale signs of the following roofing problems.
Common winter roofing issues to be aware of
Heavy snow build-up
If it snows this winter, your roof could become more vulnerable to a range of snow-related problems, including broken and leaking shingles. Snow build-ups are much heavier than they might look, so they can put a lot of extra pressure on a property’s roof. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent this from happening; if it snows, it snows! However, you should pay close attention to the condition of your roof following heavy snowfall.
If the snow is particularly heavy, you might spot the telltale signs of broken shingles. These often fall to the ground or into gutters, so inspect these areas carefully to double-check that shingles haven’t slipped off the roof.
Even a thin layer of snow could damage your roof, especially if it’s flat. Pooling water will form quite quickly as soon as the snow and ice melts, which can put extra strain on your roof and leave your shingles vulnerable to moisture build-ups. This problem can lead to damp and mould in roof cavities if left untreated, so you should act quickly if you notice the signs of damaged shingles, broken gutters or damp inside your home.
Keeping your guttering in good condition is essential to a healthy roof. Gutters direct rainwater and melting ice away from shingle layers and therefore play a vital role in preventing moisture build-ups and leaks. Inspecting your guttering frequently is recommended all year round, but it’s especially important to do so at this time of year; falling leaves, heavy rainfall, ice and snow can each weaken roof gutters and leave them vulnerable to damage.
You should also note that clogged gutters can be a beacon for small mammals and birds looking for warmth. A gutter lined with leaves and twigs may also encourage birds and squirrels to tunnel into your attic, which will leave your roof vulnerable to leaks and shingle damage.
If you’ve spotted the signs of a damaged gutter, contact your local roofing professionals. Calling the experts in to inspect and maintain your downpipes, soffits, fascias and gutters could be key to preventing long-lasting roof damage.
Falling tree branches
If there are trees surrounding your property, be aware that falling branches could damage your roof. A falling branch might crack roof shingles, damage your guttering or even cause part of your roof to collapse, depending on its size and how it falls.
This is a much more common problem throughout the winter as tree health deteriorates and strong winds leave them vulnerable to breakages. Snowfall could also put extra pressure on already weakened branches.
To avoid this, you may want to contact your local tree surgeons. They might be able to help you prevent the risk of property damage by felling any branches that are particularly close to your property. If you notice that branches are scratching against your roof, you should also call your local roofers for an inspection.
It’s no secret that the UK is susceptible to heavy rainfall throughout winter! Rain can pose a threat to roofs all year round, but it may cause extra problems throughout the coldest months of the year. This includes water leaks, which can wreak havoc on properties and lead to a range of costly damages.
If water, ice or snow pools on your roof throughout winter and doesn’t drain properly, it could seep through the shingle underlayment and into your home. Once the moisture build-up reacts with the warm air in your attic, your home could start to develop problems such as long-term condensation, damp and mould. Damp and condensation are not only responsible for huge levels of cosmetic damage, but also electrical and insulation damage.
To avoid potentially dangerous water leaks in your home, hire roofing professionals to inspect and maintain your shingles, flashing and guttering following periods of heavy rainfall. They will also be able to advise you about the installation of waterproof membranes for flat roofs or water-resistant shingles for pitched models.
How to prepare your roof for winter
Winter can be tough on homes and roofing, but there are ways to prepare and protect your property against the elements. Here are some of our top tips for keeping your roof in great condition during the coldest time of year.
Find a roofing company you can trust
It’s really important to make sure you have the contact details of a roofing company you can trust. If you notice leaking shingles or broken guttering throughout the winter, you’ll want to save time by calling the professionals as soon as possible.
Leaving problems to develop can make them much more difficult to resolve, which in turn means you’ll be paying more in repair costs. Save yourself time and money by finding local contractors you can rely on!
Inspect your roof
Often, the most effective way to prevent roofing damage during the winter season is to have your roof inspected by the professionals. During the inspection, the roofers will identify problems before they worsen and allow you to nip them in the bud.
Whether it’s a cracked gutter or peeled flashing, seemingly minor issues can lead to high levels of damage. You should always aim to prevent problems rather than treat them, so book a roof inspection today.
Clean your gutters
As we’ve mentioned, clogged gutters can cause a wide range of roofing problems throughout the winter! From preventing effective water drainage to inviting rodents into your attic, blocked gutters can be a more serious problem than you might think.
If you’re concerned about your gutters, make sure to have them cleaned regularly throughout the year – especially during the autumn and winter months. Don’t forget to act on any signs of gutter damage as quickly as possible!
Repair your soffits, fascias and downpipes
Making sure your gutters are in top condition is key, but you should also have your soffits, fascias and downpipes inspected regularly. If you spot any signs of damage, it’s important to have them repaired straight away.
These play a vital role in protecting your exterior cladding from the elements, and if broken, will put more pressure on your guttering. This can have knock-on effects on your roofing, but also the exterior of your home.
Call your local tree surgeons
If you’ve spotted a tree that could put your roof at risk this winter, it’s a good idea to discuss the problem with your local tree surgeons. Tree felling or trimming services may be all that’s needed to eliminate the risk of branches scratching your shingles or tearing the shingle underlayer.
Like clogged gutters, low-hanging branches also provide easy access to rodents and birds trying to get into your home. Prevent this by clipping back any trees that might cause serious roof damage.
James Dunn Roofing: Professional roofing contractors in Oxford
No matter what time of year it is, keep your roof in great condition with help from James Dunn Roofing. We’re proud to be the leading roofing contractors in Oxford with over 35 years of experience in installing, maintaining and repairing roofs for domestic and commercial customers. Whether you require a green roof installation or flat roof repairs, you can trust our team of professional roofing experts.
We also offer a range of renovation and development services, including property extensions, chimney repairs, kitchen installations and bathroom fittings. Whatever your renovation dreams, rely on James Dunn Roofing to bring your vision to life!
To learn more about our roofing and building services, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We look forward to working with you.