Winter Roof Tips

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It’s January and we are officially in the middle of another Canadian winter. It’s the time of year when homeowners spend time shoveling driveways, scraping off cars, and putting sand or salt on walkways. While we focus our energies on maintaining our property we should also spend some time to take care of our roofs.

Here are some tips on what to look after to help extend the life of your roof this winter.

How to handle heavy snow

Some winter seasons have more snow than others, but when heavy snow begins to pile up on your roof you should take action.

Heavy snows puts a great deal of extra load strain on your roof. If this extra weight is allowed to sit on your roof for an extended period of time, your roof may begin to fail and water may enter your home.

One option is to have de-icing cables installed to assist with melting snow and ice before it has a chance to build up and cause problems. Generally it is best to have these cables installed before the winter season begins, but it is not impossible to install in the winter season.

Another option is to use a roof rake to remove as much snow as you can. A roof rake is essentially a long pole with a wide, flat surface at the end which you can use to pull snow off your roof. This is heavy work, but you can do this while standing on the ground — no ladders required!

How to handle icicles

While icicles can add a certain amount of winter charm and sparkle, they are no friend to your eavestrough and roof. If icicles begin to build up alongside your roofline, they will clog your gutters and prevent melting snow to run-off and away from your home. Eavestrough were not designed to manage the extra weight of ice and water and can split and fail.

The extra ice along your roofline also puts a strain on your shingles and asphalt. Icicles can grow and create ice dams which can block air vents and drainage systems. If this is allowed to persist, you may be at risk of water getting into your home.

We recommend removing icicles, if it is safe to do so. Installing de-icing cables is also another great solution to alleviate this concern.

How to handle condensation

If your roof has snow and icicles, you may also be noticing that your attic is more humid than the rest of your house. If ventilation has been blocked by snow and ice, the humidity will have no way to escape, and your attic (or area just beneath your roof) will become wet. This can result in the deterioration of your construction and insulation, and can also allow for the growth of mould.

Ensuring that the wood structure that supports your roof remains dry and strong is extremely important. The growth of mould is also a health concern as it can lead to eye, nose, and throat irritation, coughing, allergic reactions, and be dangerous to children, the elderly, and people with a weak immune system.

We recommend getting a professional to have a look at the areas experiencing condensation in order to effectively determine which vents may be blocked, or if there isn’t sufficient ventilation in your roof.

For all your winter roof concerns, contact the team at LP Platinum.

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