Reasons Why You Experience Winter Roof Leaks

Roof leaks are among the most dreadful things to experience during the cold winter season. Some of these leaks only happen in the winter and are gone as the dry season arrives, but other leaks can cause tremendous damage to your roofing system if not taken care of.

What are the most common reasons why roof leaks happen?

Faulty roof seams

Most roofing problems start with the roof seams, especially in cases of bad workmanship. The seams are vulnerable to water infiltration. The winter will eventually leak your roof if the seams between panels are already faulty. Days after a heavy snowfall is when bad seams are very noticeable. As the temperature rises, the snow melted snow infiltrates to the bad seam and eventually leaks.

Clogged Gutters

The purpose of your rain gutters is to move water away from your home, if your gutters are clogged with leaves, dirt or other debris it’s time to clean them out immediately. When water is allowed to stay in them for too long, it can lead to rust. This can damage your roof and lead to costly, hazardous leaks.

Clogged gutters can also encourage water to sit on top of your roof for too long causing water to drip from your ceiling.

Ice dams

Ice dams usually form at the edge of the ridged roof and are among the most common causes of winter roof leaks. It traps the melted snow water into your roof. As it happens, the water will enter any small hole into your roof and then enter the building.

Vulnerable flashings

Even if your flashing works securely with rain, it might work differently with the winter weather. The blowing snow can move in different directions and can enter the flashing. When the snow melts, you can experience a winter roof leak even if you have a new and well-built roofing system.

Fractured roof membrane

Your flat roof membrane can keep the water out during the rainy season. But as the winter comes, your roof membrane becomes vulnerable to cracks and leaks because of the weather’s freeze-thaw cycle.

More than any other parts of your home, your flat roofing system receives a lot of stress during the winter. Make sure to prepare your home from the harsh winter weather by performing repairs as soon as you discover leaks and other problems on your roof. If you need professional help in making sure that your roofing is safe and protected before the cold season arrives, feel free to contact us at Severnside Roofing. We will help you secure your roof by identifying and fixing the problems right away.

The Effects of Snow on a Flat Roof

When the cold winter weather comes it causes chaos on our roads nationwide. Although our minds are on the road, we forget about how our homes are affected by the snow. To prepare your home for the worst of the weather we have our top tips to prepare your flat roof.

What is the issue?

EPDM membranes are known for longevity and robustness, however it still has a breaking point. Traditional pitched roofs have the advantage of gravity helping to push the snow naturally off the building.

Flat or shallow pitched roofs however are at a slightly higher risk of damage as the snow does not have the help of gravity. Leaving the snow built up for too long could result in the roof collapsing or causing damage.

As the snow or ice melts, this could also cause issues. Whether it’s happening because of the natural warmth of the sun shining during the day or the heat rising up within the building, it’s likely that the build-up of snow or ice will start to disappear and leave a pool of water behind. However, as the day goes on and the sun goes down, the temperature will become colder, meaning that the water is likely to freeze again.

The winter weather melting ice and freezing again overnight can also cause extreme deterioration and leaks can occur causing the membrane to sag and blister. The build-up of snow and ice can also cause the drains and gutters to become blocked. If this isn’t cleared then there’s nowhere for water or rainfall to drain away.

Know the signs

Below are the most common signs to be wary of over the colder spell.
  • Bowing of walls or beams
  • Extreme icicle formation along the edges of the roof
  • Large chunks of ice or snow falling from the roof
  • Evidence of leaks
  • Cracks in the ceiling
  • Displaced tiles on suspended roofs
  • Our top tips

  • Determine the maximum amount of snow accumulation your flat roof can handle.
  • Have regular roofing inspections to determine the integrity of your flat roof and if all the draining avenues are in working order.
  • Clear away large amounts of snow fall from the surface of the roof.
  • Remove ice dams immediately in order to prevent ponding and future occurrences.
  • Whenever removing snow, take note of the location of pipes and vents to prevent damage to these structures.
  • Use de-icing or melting products that are suitable for the type of roof membrane.
  • Clear gutters and drain spouts of any accumulation to ensure proper drainage when the snow begins to melt.
  • If you are uncomfortable removing the snow yourself, hire a professional.
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