Is your roof ready to weather the winter?

By Kemar Trepair on October 26, 2020

The_Farm_in_Winter


The season of winter brings with it unique weather conditions not seen during most of the year.
Ensuring that your roof is prepared to hold up against the harsh winter weather starts with two crucial considerations; the shape which affects how weather elements impact it and the materials used in its shingles.

Shape

Keep your roof shape simple to avoid any snow piling issues. +
If you are considering addition, be aware that the more openings there are in your roof, the more potential for damage. Mitigating against this starts with hiring a reputable company to conduct your repair and installations, such as Luso, Mr. Roof Repair & Avenue Road Roofing. Additionally, you may contract professionals from Bridggez.com.


Materials


While standard asphalt roofs remain a popular choice for many Canadian homeowners, it isn’t the best material for weathering the elements due to their relatively light weight. Asphalt shingles are vulnerable to strong winds, heat, and storm damages.
Additionally, asphalt shingles have the shortest life span materials in this post, lasting 15 to 30 years. Excess moisture and heat can further shorten this lifespan. The damaging of these shingles can expose your roof structure to the elements causing greater damage. Excess moisture can also lead to the growth of moss and vegetation on your roof which may block water from running off it.

The following 3 materials are much more suitable for the conditions that winter brings.

Metal:

These materials are a popular choice for cold climates. This because metal can withstand anything winter can throw at it .
The average roof size in Canada is about 2000 ft2 and the average residential metal top installed cost per square foot is about $9.50. So the average cost of a metal roof in Canada is close to $19,000, this costs about 3x more than an asphalt. However, you will end up saving in the long run due to metal roofs being extremely durable, lasting up to 50 years which is 3-7 times longer than a standard asphalt.

Concrete:

These roofs are extremely strong and can withstand the most brutal weather conditions. This is due to their makeup being a mix of cement, sand and pigments.
This makes concrete roofs much stronger than other types but it also makes them much heavier, approximately 3 times as heavy as an asphalt roof of the same size. They are also a bit pricey, a concrete roofing job on a 2000 ft2 roof would run you about $32,000.


Slate:


Made up of a natural material, these roofs are watertight and will withstand the harshest of winter weather with ease. They are quite expensive with the average slate roofing job on a 2000 ft2 roof costing at least $50,000.
The higher cost is due to difficulty sourcing the material, and also because it has excellent longevity: a slate roof can last 60 years or more with minimal maintenance. Making it an excellent long-term investment.

Slate tiles are quite heavy and can help to insulate and regulate the temperature inside your home. On the downside, their weight requires a structure that can handle it.
It is highly recommended that you hire a roofing company to conduct these jobs for you, as most of them will provide free referrals giving you an outline of the cost and procedure involved without you having to spend a dollar.

Common roofing problems during winter


Some of the potential roofing problems that may affect homeowners during winter include condensation, leaky flashings & ice dams.


Condensation:


condensation

This occurs when warm air (e.g. from the attic) meets a cold surface (e.g. the underside of your roof) If left unchecked, condensation can lead to the development of mold and mildew inside your home that can compromise the integrity of other components like insulation.
It is usually caused by improper ventilation and inadequate insulation. Mitigating against it begins with having a proper roof ventilation system, the general rule of thumb according to roofing experts and building codes is one square foot of attic
ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic space.


Leaky flashings:


chimney-flashing-roof-leaks

Flashings are pieces of metal placed over your roof’s joints and around spots like chimneys and vents that are meant to properly direct the flow of water and help prevent water damage.
Flashings are incredibly important components of your roofing system, responsible for protecting some of the most sensitive zones, but they can also be vulnerable to damage themselves, especially during the winter.

As snow and ice build up on the roof, the moisture can cause or exploit flaws in your flashings. Sometimes the moisture will permeate underneath them and cause water damage inside your home. At other times the moisture will re-freeze and lift the metal strips.
Mitigating against this starts with inspecting your flashings whenever you suspect damage has occurred. You need to look inside your attic for potential internal damage, as well as outside on the roof to ensure that the flashings are still sitting flat against the roof. If you are unable to go on the roof yourself to do the inspection you can get a handyman from Bridggez.com to do it for you.

Small holes or corroded spots in flashings can be easily repaired. Plug pinholes with roofing cement, and patch holes up to about 3/4 inch in diameter with a patch from the same material as the flashing.
Flashings that are badly corroded will need to be replaced. You will have to remove several rows of shingles as well as the old flashing to do this. This can be done DIY but it is recommended you hire a roofing contractor.


Ice Dams:


frozen roof

Ice dams are one of the most common causes of roof damage for Canadian homeowners every winter. They form when higher portions of the structure become warmer than areas lower down. Snow and ice on these warmer zones then melts, flows downward, hits the colder edges, and re-freezes.

These dams can cause lasting damage to your roof. And if they get through your it, they can start damaging the entire home.
There are preventative measures you can take to prevent ice dams from forming such as cleaning your gutters before winter because dead leaves leftover in the gutters from autumn can stop the runoff of water and lead to ice dams.

One can DIY this using special equipment such as a snow rake which can be purchased from Walmart or Canadian Tire, the cost varies between $40 - $133.
On the other hand, you could hire professionals such as Avenue Road Roofing to do the job for you. The cost would depend upon how many square feet of snow needs removing.

These structures are meant to protect our homes from whatever weather comes our way. With harsh unpredictable weather during the winter, it is imperative that one takes the time to ensure their investment is adequately protected. To Book a roofing inspection today click here.