Winter is here, but in Colorado that could mean just about anything. Warm, cold, sunny, windy, wet or dry – these all describe winter in Wheat Ridge, Arvada and the Front Range. One thing for certain is that Rock’s Roofing, Inc will get a lot of asphalt service and repair calls in the winter. Homeowners wonder why their roof started leaking now and not last summer. Well, the answer lies in water flow.
Water flows off of a roof differently in a rain storm than it does with snow melt. Rain can freely flow down a roof with the warm weather. The water does not pond or settle on the shingles, provided the roof and gutters are free of debris. Snow on the other hand stays on the roof for longer periods of time. Accumulated snow on a roof starts to melt underneath the snow first. The roof deck is warmer than the air on top of the snow pile so a thin river of water develops under the snow. The water flows under the snow pack but then refreezes at the eaves and valleys where the air is colder again. This process can produce what is known as an ice dam.
Ice Dams Asphalt Shingle Repair
Ice dams form when snow starts to melt underneath the accumulated snow pile. The water flow then refreeze at the eaves and valleys. The refreezing causes a dam and allows the water to flow back up the roof. The blocked water makes its way into the flashing and any cracks in the shingles. Ice dams form over several storms and can cause a lot of damage. This upwards water flow can cause serious damage to the roof deck, soffits and shingles.
How do you avoid ice dams? The first order of business should be a roof inspection in the fall by an experienced roofer. Debris, tree limbs and leaves needs to be removed from the gutters and valleys so that water can flow freely. The roofing specialist can also inspect your shingles for cracks or tears and loose flashing that will allow more moisture to enter the roof. Pipes, protrusions and vents might need new sealant around the base to keep moisture out through the winter.
If your roof was installed by Rock’s Roofing, Inc. we put ice and water shield underlayment at the eaves and valleys to prevent damage from ice dams. Metro Denver cities have different roofing requirements for roofs. Some cities in the front range require ice and water shield underlayment on the eaves and valleys and other cities do not. Whether required or not, Rock’s Roofing, Inc. believes that installing ice and water shield at these important areas of the roof provides you with a longer lasting and higher quality roof.
If the roof and gutters are clean of all debris and pipes are sealed, another solution to ice damming are heat cables. This is a warm cable that is installed at the edge of the roof to keep the water flowing off the roof. Ice dams could also be a sign that you need more insulation in your attic. More insulation will prevent escaping house heat from heating up your roof. Call our office for more details if you are experiencing ice dams and leaks. Rock’s Roofing, Inc offers an annual or semi-annual maintenance agreement for your roof.
Other causes of roof leaks in the winter are cracks in the cap flashings. Old sealants around pipes, skylights and vents are other problem areas. We can’t stress it enough that a fall roof inspection will head off many winter roofing issues. For the sealants to be most effective, they need to be applied when the temperature is moderate and the surface is dry.
In the winter, Rock’s Roofing, Inc performs asphalt shingle roof repairs, flat roof repairs, along with gutter, fascia and soffit repairs. Please contact us for a free inspection of your roof.