What Can Cause Roof Leaks In The Winter?

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but winter brings its woes. If you’re a homeowner, a leaky roof is the last thing you’ll want to deal with during the colder months. But to avoid bigger problems, you should investigate leaks as soon as possible. 

So, what can cause roof leaks in the winter? Many things can cause roof leaks—ice dams, damaged shingles, exhaust vent condensation, and even clogged gutters.

Keep reading to familiarize yourself with common winter problems and how to solve them so you can go back to enjoying the season cozied up at home with a cup of hot chocolate.

Ice Dams

Have you ever heard the term ice dams? These pesky ridges of solid ice can form under your roof’s eaves. When snow on your roof starts to melt, the water travels down the slope of your roof toward the eaves. Cool air underneath can cause it to refreeze and form layers of ice, which block the melted snow from draining off your roof and trapping water. 

It’s important to remove these as soon as you notice them since the water can get trapped under your shingles and cause a leak in your home. If you’re new to ice dam removal, it’s best to call a professional to learn how to safely—and efficiently—remove them.

Clogged Gutters

Leaves, tree limbs, and other debris can clog your gutters throughout the year, which is why it’s important to clean them routinely. Similar to ice dams, clogged gutters can prevent your roof from draining properly after a snowfall. If the melted snow has nowhere to go, it will pool on your roof and possibly under the shingles and—you guessed it—cause a leak inside your home. Save yourself money and headache by properly caring for your gutters.

Poor Attic Insulation

During the colder months, the heat from your living room and other parts of your home rises to your attic. If you have poor attic insulation, the warm air can form condensation in that space. Once it cools down, huge droplets will start to fall on your attic’s wooden surfaces and eventually damage your roofing beams. This damage can cause beam to rot and encourage hazardous mold to grow.

If this is a continual occurrence, your roof could begin to sag over time. A sagging roof is also a cause for a leaky roof. If it’s been a while since you checked the insulation in your attic, now is a great time.

Exhaust Vent Condensation

The purpose of an exhaust fan is to remove excess moisture from areas of your home that accumulate lots of moisture—specifically your bathroom after a long, hot shower or bath. Exhaust fans remove moist air by transferring it through a vent to the outside of your home. As it travels through the vent, it could turn into frost if your attic has poor insulation or is unheated. Once the frost from the vent melts, it could leak out of the vent duct and onto the ceiling, creating a leak that resembles a roof leak.

Damaged Shingles

Your roof protects your home from all the elements and shingles are a major part of that protection. It’s easy to think that a missing or damaged shingle is not a big deal, but it can affect your roof more than you realize.

Large storms bring hail and heavy winds that can strip your roof of shingles or leave them cracked and destroyed. If the shingles are not in the best shape possible, your roof is left exposed to the sun, wind, and rain, making it easier for water to leak into your home. After a storm, inspect your roof and quickly have any missing or damaged shingles replaced to avoid a winter leak.

Structural Water Damage

It’s not always easy to locate the source of your roofing problems, but it could be the result of prolonged water exposure to your roof’s overall structure. If melted snow and debris stay on your roof for too long, you’ll experience more leaks over time and spend more money having them repaired.

In case you don’t already, it’s important to periodically hire a professional to inspect your roof and address any issues you may not have noticed.

Protect Your Roof Today

Be proactive and protect your roof today. Damaged shingles and poor attic insulation might not sound like a big deal, but these minor issues can create big problems if left unattended. That’s why it’s important to call a professional, so you can enjoy peace of mind this winter season.

Legacy Restoration combines highly trained staff and handpicked products to ensure long-term value for your home improvement. Our trained roofers and remodelers deliver five-star roofing renovations, so you won’t have to worry about roof leaks during winter. Call us or fill out our online form today for a free consultation and quote.