common problems with roofs this winter
Although roofs are meant to be inspected twice a year, problems can still occur at any time.
As we head into the coldest and wettest months of the year, it might be worth considering what maintenance may be required.
In this article Metrotile highlights the most common problems with roofs in winter, and how to fix them.
Leaking can cause excessive damage to your property, causing damp and devastation to aspects of your home, interior, and furnishings.
If your roof uses flashings, it can be prone to flood during the wetter months. Flashings are metal strips which are located along the corners and ridges of your roof. If they weren’t installed correctly they can come loose from the building and allow water to enter the premises.
- Fixing asphalt shingles & flashing– This should be completed when shingle edges are curled, they become cracked or bald spots become exposed. To prevent problems with flashings, inspect the roofing every 6 months to ensure it is firmly in place.
- Locating the leak– Try to locate the exactly where the leak has started. If it’s visible, there might only be an issue with sealant. If you cannot find the exact spot, it may require expert assistance.
- Check roof for moss– Moss can grow on surfaces which don’t receive much sunlight. Moss is permeable on the roof surface, and overtime in freezing conditions, they can damage tiles. Moss can be easily removed but be careful not to weaken the surface of the shingle.
Condensation occurs when warm air meets a cold surface, causing water droplets to build. Mould and mildew can fester within your property which can damage the interior. Mould is proven to be harmful to your health, and it can affect your immune system, whilst making it more likely to cause respiratory infections and asthma.
You will also need to examine the ventilation of your property, as this can shorten the lifespan by damaging the decking.
- Air conditioning– By installing a ventilation system, you can help air circulation in your home.
- Good ventilation –Regularly try opening your windows whilst turning the central heating on to allow optimum air circulations within your home, which can reduce water vapour. This is particularly useful after showering, cooking or bathing.
- Fix it yourself –If the area of mould is less than 1 metre squared(1×1 metre or 3×3 feet) you can remove it yourself. It is advised you wear protective materials, such as gloves and a mask, to avoid breathing the spores. Fill a warm bucket of water with mild detergent or washing up liquid, and wipe mould off with a cloth. Once completed, fully ventilate the space until the damp air has gone.
Ice can build on the roof of your property, causing ice dams to form. This can damage the interior walls, ceilings, and insulation of your home. After cold periods with ice, thawing can occur on the top layer of the roof. This can create pools of water to fall into the property.
Icicles can form on the edges of the building, which can become heavy and damage gutters and roof of your home due to their weight. Icicles are dangerous if they fall and injure people or personal property.
- Attic fans – This is an effective method to remove ice dams as they can melt the ice without causing a leak within your home. Simply turn on the fan and direct the air-flow towards the roof, which will prevent more ice from forming.
- Manually remove icicles – Consider buying de-icer to lower the melting point of the ice. If you do not have de-icer, rock salt can be an effective natural solution.
- Install more insulation – Warm air from the attic space may be causing the ice dams, so by adding more insulation underneath the roof, it can prevent the hot air from heating your rooftop.
Strong winds may shake or weaken parts of the roof. Damaged tiles or shingles can become a problem during the winter months if not regularly checked. Materials such as slate can crack in the winter during the cold weather or blow off in adverse conditions. This can leave it open for water to penetrate the roof.
Tree limbs can cause severe damage if they scrape against the roof and damage protective layer. Tree branches may also fall off.
Extreme weather can cause debris to fall onto the roof and guttering. This is especially a problem for conservatories with glass roofs as it can block natural light from entering and can appear unappealing unless regularly cleared.
- Regularly clear roof –Clearing debris and leaves from the roof, including pipes and gutters, will make the top of your property less prone to damp.
- Remove branches or trees which pose risk – If there are overhanging or protruding branches, you might want to consider removing it if you feel it could fall on your home during the next storm.
- Source stronger materials –If the roof of your home is tiled, it might be worth investing in a more durable roofing material to prevent any major damages to your property. Materials like concrete and steel are more likely to withstand harsh conditions.
Metrotile are here to help
With regular maintenance, you can protect your home against the elements this winter, but what are the long-term solutions?
Metrotile lightweight steel roofing tiles offer enhanced insulation to the premises, stunning aesthetics and a 40-year weatherproof guarantee. Every Metrotile product is rigorously tested to withstand harsh weather conditions and vandalism.
Metrotile is the leading supplier of lightweight steel roofing, providing a durable solution for all your roofing needs. With a wide range of designs available, our tiles reduce energy costs and keep your property warm during the colder months. From small conservatories to large-scale new build projects, Metrotile has you covered.
For more information, get in touch by filling out a contact form or call us on 01249 658 514.