Your roof experiences plenty of wear and tear throughout the year due to regular exposure to the elements; however, it’s when winter rolls around where your roof is truly tested.
Winter weather, even in cities like Atlanta which don’t experience much snowfall (we see about two inches of snow a year), can cause a lot of roof damage if you’re not prepared for it. This is why you’ll want to make sure your roof is ready for the winter season.
Winter Storms in Atlanta
There’s more risk of roof damage during the winter than any other time of the year due to the fact that there are many types of storms which can come through and wreak havoc in Atlanta. The following are a few of the different types of weather you could experience here in Atlanta during the winter season which could damage your roof.
Snow – It may not snow often in Atlanta, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. For example, there were blizzards in 1993 and 2011 in which a significant amount of snow blanketed the city. The real problem with snow is when your attic or ceiling isn’t properly insulated. This will cause warm air to rise up and melt the bottom layer of snow covering your roof. The top layer will trap the water below it, which will then leak through your roof. Ice dams could also form as the water refreezes.
Hail – Hail can cause serious damage to your roof, even if you’ve properly prepared for potential stormy weather. This is because hail can puncture your shingles. If your roof is already in poor shape, hail can cause even more damage, leaving your roof prone to all kinds of major leaks.
Rainstorms – Heavy rain is more common than snow in Atlanta and can cause plenty of damage to a roof in poor condition. Rainwater can leak into your home if flashing or shingles are missing or damaged and can also cause leaks into and cause water damage to the siding and foundation of your home if your gutters are in poor shape. Not only can leaks result in water damage, rot and mold growth can also happen, resulting in potentially serious structural damage.
High winds – High-speed wind can rip shingles and flashing from your roof, especially if they were already damaged or loose. This leaves the roof vulnerable to leaks. High-speed winds can also carry debris, such as large branches, into the roof and potentially damage your shingles.
Preventing Roof Damage During the Winter
The following are a few tips for preventing damage from occurring to your roof during the winter season.
Get a roof inspection – Schedule a professional roof inspection prior to the winter season. A roof inspector will evaluate the condition of your roof and identify any issues which need repair. The better shape your roof is in, the more capable it will be of withstanding potential damage during the winter season.
Get a gutter inspection – Your gutters help collect rainwater from your roof and disperse it away from your home. If your gutters are in bad condition (such as if they have holes or have pulled away from the roof) your roof will be exposed to potential water leaks and your exterior and foundation to water damage.
Get your gutters cleaned – Keeping your gutters clean prevents clogs. If your gutters are blocked, the water will build up and overflow, causing potential water leaks and damage.
Insulate attic/ceiling – Insulating your attic will help prevent heat from rising and melting any snow which may accumulate on your roof, thereby preventing water leaks if it snows. It will also reduce your energy bill as your home becomes more efficient in keeping conditioned air inside.
Check for damage following storms – Following a bad storm, visually check your roof for damage by walking around the exterior and by going up into the attic to look for leaks.
Dealing With Roof Damage
The moment you spot any kind of roof damage, have a professional come inspect it. Even minor issues should be addressed, such as if you notice there are any shingles which have buckled or cracked. Whenever there is existing damage to the roof, those areas are more vulnerable to additional damage should a storm come through. Those minor issues may not have cost much to fix but could become major problems which are expensive to repair.
Make sure you have your insurance policy number and phone number available so you can file a claim should you discover roof damage. Additionally, never go up on the roof yourself to look for damage. Not only do you risk falling, but if the roof is damaged, you risk making the problem worse.
To schedule a roof inspection in Atlanta or to request emergency roof repairs, be sure to contact us at Pro Roofing & Siding today.