Problems Your Roof Is At Risk of During the Winter

Posted on: 6 November 2017


Australia may be known for favourable weather, but the winters can be quite severe. Since your roof is the primary defence against the elements, not only would the increase in precipitation accelerate the rate at which your roofing materials deteriorate, but the freeze and thaw cycles of snow and ice can also end up causing permanent damage to your roof. The trick to minimising your roof repairs would be knowing what winter weather does to your roof and proactively trying to prevent irreparable harm. So what are the problems that your roof is at risk of during the winter?

Formation of ice dams

Ice dams are created when snow accumulates along the ridges of your roof as well as inside the gutter system. When the snow is left unencumbered, it forms ice, and the solid ice makes it challenging for precipitation to be directed away from your structure. As a result, water begins to accumulate and seep into your shingles, infiltrate the underlayment of your roofing and subsequently make its way down into your ceiling and the interior walls of your home.

The first measure you can take against ice dams is to carry out a roof inspection before winter weather rolls around to make sure that there are no gaps in the shingles that would allow water ingress to occur. The second measure to take would be to install high-quality insulation under your roofing system. The insulation will reduce the risk of ice dams forming, as the roof will stay warm during the winter months.

Leaks in the flashing

Another cause for concern during the winter is leaks developing in your flashing. Metal flashing is a conventional material used to seal the areas around your chimney, roof ridges, the edges of the roof and more. If the flashing was improperly installed or if it has started to wear down due to ageing, there will be a high risk of winter storms compromising the flashing. Gale winds are strong enough to pull the flashing away from the structure, leaving your roof open to water ingress.

Moreover, the constant exposure to snow and heavy rainfall can accelerate corrosion of the flashing, which would eventually make it permeable to water. It is critical for homeowners to have roofing maintenance carried out on their flashing, replacing the materials as needed. A good idea would be to switch to waterproof membranes for your flashing, as these would not be affected by the heavy precipitation.