Roof Leak Causes During Winter | Melting Snow Water Damage
As winter comes to a close in Morris County, NJ and things start warming up, it’s leak season!
Roof leaks are most common this time of year for a number of reasons, all of which will be discussed here. But of course, this is only one of the many joys of spring as you’ll also want to be on the lookout for foundation flooding, flooded basements, and water damage coming from the cracks of your exterior doors and windows.
During the winter, building materials are put to the test on how well they can keep your home warm and prevent the snow and water from seeping in. But each year grows increasingly difficult as they become weakened by the harsh conditions of ice, snow, freezing temperatures, and water. Eventually, you’ll have problems.
When it comes to the roof, leaks are a common issue in the spring. But this doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly as water damage from the leak can easily spread to other areas and contribute to mold growth. Before you know it, you could be sitting on thousands of dollars in water damage that may not be covered by your insurance company.
The best way to avoid this problem is to look out for the common causes of roof leaks during the winter. Check out the following.
Common Causes of Roof Leaks During the Winter
Roof leaks can be caused by a number of different problems but we’ve highlighted the most common causes so you can inspect and remove the issue as soon as possible.
Ice dams are the most common cause of roof leaks during the winter. An ice dam is a thick ridge of ice that can become caught along the gutters and edge of the roof. As temperatures rise and fall, the snow will melt and freeze along the edge, adding lots of pressure to your roof and creating a leak.
Ice dams are created by the heat from your home causing the snow and ice on the roof to melt. The water then runs down your roof, sits at the edge (which doesn’t have any contact with your home’s heat) and freezes again.
Over time, an ice dam will develop as water continues to flow to this area and seep through your shingles. It won’t take long before you notice wet boards in your attic, insulation, and exterior walls. Eventually, this will cause the building structure to develop mold growth and rot, compromising the home’s structural integrity.
The best way to prevent these ice dams from forming is to ensure your attic is properly ventilated.
Inefficient Attic Insulation
The next most common cause of a roof leak is poor attic insulation. If warm air travels through the little amount of insulation within your attic, the heat will melt the snow on the roof, which again will result in an ice dam.
Your home’s heat will also create water vapor as it travels to the attic. If it collects here, it will create excessive amounts of moisture and harmful droplets when it cools from the cold conditions above. Eventually, the wood materials in your attic will become rotten and need to be replaced before they start to sag.
The reason many homes have high-sloped roofs is to allow all melting snow to run down the shingles, into the gutter, down the spout, and away from the property. But on a low-slope roof, the water travels much slower or not at all, damaging the shingles and even seeping through to the attic. This is especially common during rainy seasons.
Another common problem that causes roof leaks are clogged gutters. When the gutters are filled with ice, dirt, sticks, leaves or other debris, water will not be able to drain properly and will likely pool on the roof or run down the side of the home. This can damage your roof and lead to leaks.
Be sure to inspect your gutters carefully in the springtime and ensure the water is flowing freely through them and away from your home.
Structural Water Damage
There’s always a chance that roof leaks can be traced from a water damaged structure. If water isn’t able to flow away from your roof, it will collect here and leak through to the attic below.
This is why it’s important to work with a roofing professional to have an inspection and necessary maintenance on a frequent basis. Also keep in mind that you may not be able to identify the common signs of roof leaks that they are trained to find, saving you hundreds and even thousands of dollars in repair costs.
Professional Water Damage Restoration
Believe it or not, water damage is the most common kind of destruction that can occur within your home. Roof leaks are only one of the many issues faced by homeowners every year. But if you’re dealing with this issue, especially in the springtime, it’s crucial to have it addressed right away before the next rainfall as it will only become worse over time.
Water damage restoration contractors are always available 24/7 to respond to emergencies caused by roof leaks. They will respond right away to your first call and use professional drying techniques and equipment to dry out the area affected by the leak.
For those living in New Jersey, ServiceMaster by Timeless is always available to help homeowners who have experienced any kind of water damage in their home. We can restore your attic from both water damage and mold, if present, to prevent it from spreading and becoming worse.
As far as the issues with your roof, it’s recommended to work with a professional roofing contractor who is licensed, insured, trained and experienced. They will be able to identify all problem areas, replace the shingles, and even recommend a full roof replacement if necessary.
Regardless of how far the damage has already spread, the best step to take in these situations is to call for help as this will prevent a bigger headache in the long run.
For emergency water damage restoration services from roof leaks in New Jersey, contact ServiceMaster by Timeless at (973) 658-7777. Available 24/7