How To Fix Leaking Roof In Winter?

How To Fix Leaking Roof In Winter?
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: December 31, 2021
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

Many people may find themselves in need of roof work during the winter months but are unsure whether doing so is a wise idea. Roofers, after all, are unlikely to want to be on the roof when you don’t want to be outside.

No prior experience is required to stop leaks. We demonstrate how to locate and repair the most frequent forms of roof leaks. Most leaks can be fixed in a matter of minutes.

While certain repairs may have to be postponed until the spring, some winter roof leaks must be addressed as soon as possible. Today, we’ll go over some of the reasons you might be in this situation and some solutions to avoid it in the future.

What Are The Main Reasons For Roof Leaking In Winter?

A leaky roof is most likely the source of water stains that stretch across ceilings or run-down walls. The difficult aspect is locating the leak; the roof leak repair is usually simple.

We’ll show you how to locate and fix the most common leaky roofs using easy techniques. If you live in the Snow Belt and only have leaked on warm or sunny days throughout the winter, you most likely have ice dams.

1) Snow Dams

When the snow melts and runs down the slope of your roof, it cools and refreezes at the eaves, leaving thick ice ridges. Water and snow cannot flow off your roof because of these ridges, causing a new layer to build.

Water can leak into your home if it moves rearward beneath your roof’s tiles. If you don’t remove ice dams, they can cause serious damage to your roof and home’s structure.

2) Inappropriate Insulation

If your roof is leaking in the winter and isn’t due to an ice blockage, your attic insulation may be at fault. The same conditions that cause an ice dam can cause excess humidity in your attic. Much warm air could get in if your attic insulation isn’t up to snuff.

If it’s permitted to migrate upward and into your attic, you’ll end up with much condensation. This is because heat from your heated living room rises and condenses as water vapor.

If it collects in your attic, it will cool and form large, dangerous drops. These might cause your roofing beams to decay as they fall on the wooden surfaces of your attic.

3) Water Damage

The roofing leaks you’re experiencing may be the result of structural water damage to your roof’s shingles and trusses. Water can amass and harm both the outside and inside your home if it isn’t permitted to fall away from your roof.

This is why basic roofing maintenance checks should be scheduled regularly. You may not be able to recognize the signs of water damage at first, but a professional will be able to spot them right away and advise you on what to do next.

Steps To Fix The Leaking Roof In Winter

If you’re looking for a leak, start by looking uphill from the stains on the roof. Roof penetrations are the first item to look for.

The most prevalent source of leaks is items that breach the roof. In reality, leaks in open sections of continuous shingles are uncommon, even on older roofs. Plumbing, roof, and anything else that protrudes through the roof is examples of penetrations.

1) Remove Snow Dams

It’s tempting to try to clear an ice dam yourself if your leaks are caused by one. This is, however, a job best left to the professionals. For the unskilled, the steamers and other heavy-duty equipment required to remove the dam can be deadly.

If your gutters become clogged with ice, leaves, or dirt, they won’t be able to drain water, ice, or snow away from your roof effectively. Clogged gutters, like ice dams, can cause water to back up and seep beneath your shingles, causing your roof to leak in the winter.

2) Fix Water Damages And Insulation Issues

Some roof leaks are difficult to find. Water may appear on a ceiling far away from the source of the leak. Push the insulation aside and search for flow marks on the plastic vapor barrier between the drywall and the attic insulation if your ceiling has one. Water frequently leaks through vapor barrier gaps, such as at ceiling light fixtures.

If you go up into your attic on a cold night, you could notice this. Because the nails are frosted, they will seem white. The frost melts and drips when the attic warms up during the day; the nails frost up again at night. Simply snip the nail with side-cutting pliers to solve the problem.

3) Fix Damaged Shingles

Winter roof leaks can also be caused by cracked, broken, or missing tiles. If your roof was damaged by severe winds, hail, or a fallen tree branch during a storm, shingles might have been dislodged, leaving your roof deck vulnerable to water.

As a result, it’s critical to inspect your roof following a storm and ensure that the shingles are secure before winter arrives.

The shingled surface isn’t necessarily where water enters. Wind-driven rain frequently enters through cracks and knotholes in siding, particularly around windows, between corner boards and siding, and through cracks and knotholes in siding.

Clean your Gutters Even Before problem Occurrence

Don’t take it for granted that your gutters are free of debris. While it may seem like a minor task, inspecting them regularly and removing any build-up is critical. This will keep them running smoothly and prevent them from being clogged and ineffective due to excess debris.

The key to fixing roof issues is identifying them as soon as possible before they worsen.

It’s especially crucial to discover leaks early in the winter. Water stains on interior or exterior walls, water falling from the ceiling or via ventilating fans, and condensation on skylights are signs of a winter roof leak. These signs point to a problem with your roof that is causing it to leak or become vulnerable to leaks.

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.