As summer winds down and fall begins, it’s time to think about winterizing your roof. We know—we don’t want to think about the cold either! But harsh weather means that your roof needs to be prepared, lest you’re left with structural, moisture, or mold (yes, mold) damage come spring.
While you can, and certainly should, hire a roofing contractor for a comprehensive assessment and winterization, it’s helpful to know how to spot potential problems so that you can voice your areas of concern. Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors, your Sauk Rapids roofing company and roof repair experts, is here with a few red flags that your roof needs patched up before the cold hits.
It may sound obvious, but leaks and winter weather don’t mix. Not only can they let in snow, thus causing moisture damage when warm attic air meets it, but they also can drastically reduce your home’s energy efficiency and warmth by interfering with proper roof ventilation. The right ratio of ventilation plays a big role in roofing health; just check out our recent blog, “Poor Roofing Ventilation: Descriptions and Consequences” to understand just how dire of an issue it can be if things go south.
A regularly shaped and prominent ceiling stain is a telltale sign your roof has a leak—but it can also be a signal of something entirely unrelated, like a leaky pipe. That’s why having a roofing contractor out at the first sign of one is imperative; they can tell you if your roof is to blame or if you’ll need a plumber.
If you’re motivated enough to climb up and dig around in your attic, you may be able to find a concentrated area of wet insulation caused by a leak. Wet insulation in and of itself isn’t a tell-tale sign, though, as ventilation problems can cause it en masse.
Finally, of course if you’re seeing sunlight through your roof decking, you know there’s an issue! Keep in mind, though, that your roof may have strategically placed vents to allow for air circulation, so seeing sunlight alone isn’t necessarily indicative of a problem. Luckily, it’s easy to tell the difference; one looks intentional, the other doesn’t!
Ventilation, insulation—there’s certainly a lot to think about when it comes to roofing, and the fact that two important facets rhyme doesn’t make keeping things straight any easier sometimes! While ventilation allows air to flow through your roofing, discouraging moisture accumulation and mold growth, insulation traps air in your home, maintaining its temperature.
In the winter, you have it to thank for your heating system’s continued efficacy and your continued warmth. Obviously, then, a lack of it means that your furnace has to work harder to keep your home—and you—comfortable.
However, that’s not the only consequence of poor or faulty insulation; insufficient amounts of the stuff can cause warm air to escape into your attic, melting any frost accumulated there. The water then can dampen your insulation, setting the stage for wintertime mold growth.
Every roof is designed differently, and thus every roof requires differing amounts of insulation in order to function properly. So while the amount of insulation, or lack thereof, on its own isn’t a reliable indicator of an issue, if it’s getting in the way of regulating parts of your roof’s design—namely, your vents—it definitely needs the attention of a roofing contractor.
A home that just can’t stay warm enough can also be a sign, though that can also indicate a ventilation issue. Indeed, ventilation and insulation issues often have similar consequences.
If you think cold weather will kill off any opportunistic fungi, think again. Because your attic is a relatively insulated space, mold can and will survive through the harshest winter. Would you expect anything less from something living in Minnesota?
While gross, mold is more than a cosmetic concern. It can cause serious health issues, for one, and it also can eat away at wooden facets of your roofing, leaving an unsturdy structure behind.
Obviously, if you see mold in your roofing, you’ll want to have a roofing contractor out—and potentially remediation services, too. But mold can be tricky to spot, as it likes dark, secluded places, so spotting it isn’t always as simple as a look-see. If it’s safe to do so, check among your insulation for wet spots that may indicate its presence. It also can form near leaks, where moisture is plentiful.
Breathing issues in susceptible individuals can indicate major infestations, though you’re likely to notice something before things get this bad.
Our licenced roofing contractors are well-versed in a variety of roofing types and have all the skills you need to keep your roof strong—and your family safe. Give our Sauk Rapids office a call today at 320-252-9086.