The changes of seasons may be one of the great qualities of New England, but along with all the picturesque snow comes some potential problems for your home. Your roof is your main layer of defense between your living space and all the precipitation that mother nature has to offer. Here are the top 3 roofing problems we typically see each winter – and how to avoid them.
1. Ice Dams
Ice dams are sometimes created when there are large amounts of snow on the roof and the heat from the attic begins to melt the underlying layer of snow. The water trickles down the roof until it hits the cold gutter. Here it can refreeze, growing into large blocks of ice.
This can become a problem over time as the snow continues to melt and has nowhere to go and backs up under the shingles. The water can then drip into your home and cause significant damage.
Many homeowners think that a new roof may solve their ice dam problem, but the solution is primarily in keeping the attic cool in the first place. Ice dam prevention tactics can include preventing heat from rising into the attic and/or adjusting the ventilation so that the existing heat can escape out of the attic.
Ideally, you should have your home evaluated by insulations companies or roofing companies to get a professional evaluation. In Massachusetts, you may even be eligible for a free energy assessment. During these assessments and evaluations, they will look at ventilation and heat retention and can give you a clear plan to prevent ice dams before they happen.
2. Leaking Pipe Boot
The pipe boot is an integral part of your roofing system. The pipe boot is the waterproof sealing around the plumbing vent and helps keep moisture out of your home.
Unlike many other long-lasting roofing components, pipe boots really only have a lifespan of 10 years. These can degrade quickly and allow water into your home. The leaks are sometimes undetected at first, creating a situation where mold can grow.
A simple visual inspection (from the ground) is a good place to start. When in doubt, have Golden Group Roofing inspect and replace the pipe boot for a relatively inexpensive preventative measure.
3. Bathroom Vents
For a bathroom vent to function properly, it should exhaust the warm moist air to the outside of the building. But you’d be surprised how many bathroom vents are actually venting into the attic space.
Our New England winters already create moisture situations in our attics due to the extreme difference between the interior and the exterior of our homes. During the winter, we also close off the natural ventilation of any open windows that we might use in the spring, summer, and the fall.
When you add in extra moisture from the bathroom vent, now you have the perfect breeding ground for mold. And since most homeowners don’t visit their attic regularly, this can go unnoticed for quite some time.
If you haven’t done so already, take a moment to verify that your bathroom vent actually vents to the outside instead of the attic.
With a little bit of vigilance and preventative measures, most homeowners can avoid these top 3 roofing problems that we commonly see during the winter. If you need help with pipe boot replacements (or any other repairs), give Golden Group Roofing a call.
We have a fully trained crew all year round because we know our community needs us 12 months out of the year – even during our Massachusetts winters. Call Golden Group Roofing at 508-466-5300 or book your service online.