We’ve said it many times, but few homeowners spare a thought about their roof until it’s too late. At no time of year is that more true than in winter. Unless you’re walking around buckets under an umbrella in your house, you’re not likely to pay any attention to your roof when it’s freezing outside.
That’s unfortunate because simply looking at your roof in the colder months can reveal a number of problems that could affect your entire home – and your wallet. And you won’t be able to spot those problems at any other time of the year.
Especially after a snowfall or ice storm, try to get outside and take a look at your roof for the following tell-tale signs of potential problems.
Uneven Melting or More Melting than on Your Neighbour’s Roof
If you take a look at your roof after a snowfall and notice bare patches where the snow has melted away, it’s a sign that heat is escaping at that point. If all or most the snow on your roof melts away before it does on your neighbours’ roofs, it likely means that your insulation is weak and costly heat is being lost through the roof.
Ice Dams & Icicles
Ice dams form when the snow higher up on your roof melts, rolls down the roof and refreezes again when it gets over the colder soffits on the edge of the roof. Icicles form for the same reason. Ice dams can damage your roof’s shingles and eavestroughs. They can also cause moisture to back up into your home. Ice dams are also a sign of poor insulation and/or poor attic ventilation.
Ice Dams and Icicles Again
They can also be a sign that you have a condensation problem, which can lead to water and mold damage just about anywhere in your home. Moisture in the air condenses when warmer air meets a cold surface, like the air from inside your home against the underside of your roof. Enough condensation can start leaking into your home through walls and cause wood rot and/or mold growth anywhere it settles.
So instead of hunkering down inside after the next snow storm, get outside for some fresh air and take a look at what your roof is trying to tell you.