Roof replacement costs can be sky-high. The steep price tag for roof replacement usually includes materials, labor, and local state or town permits. Depending on your needs and preferences, you may spend thousands of dollars on a new roof. The annual winter season only deteriorates your home's exterior, so it is extremely important to understand and recognize common winter roof problems.

5 Reasons Why Your Roof Won't Survive This Winter

1) Bad Roof Installation

Your roof may already be in poor condition, not because of bad weather, but due to poor workmanship. A bad roof installation can cause a serious headache, especially during the winter months. Examples of bad roofing include uneven shingle and ridge cap installation, poor fastening of materials or complete disregard for manufacturers specifications.

A lot of things can go wrong with roofs, including the design of the actual roof itself. When designing a roof it is best to design it without any valleys at all. The valley only concentrates the water and clogs that area with ice, thus creating leakage. Many sources agree that the best roof shape for a cold climate is a simple gable. A gable roof, which is triangular shaped, does not have any valleys or hips, making it easy to vent.

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2) Attic Condensation 

During the winter season condensation is caused when moisture is transported from the heated portion of the home into the unheated attic. If the house is not properly insulated or ventilated the moisture does not dry out, which leads the water to condense or turn into a liquid again. Attic condensation during the winter also decreases the effectiveness of insulation over time. Usually attic condensation problems go undetected, causing eventual significant damage.

One big indicator you have attic condensation problems is when ice builds up on the roof edges, which means lots of icicles hanging from the edge of your roof. Moisture can be decreased by use of washers or dryers, poor ventilation, and resealing the attic or ceiling with vapor retardant paint so that water does not get to the roof. Having the roof inspected by professionals is the only way to truly diagnose the ventilation and condensation problem.


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3) Damaged Flashing

The function of a flashing is to provide a watertight seal at roof junctions, edges and corners.  Flashing is installed anywhere there is a dramatic change of angle. It is also placed around objects that protrude from the roof, such as chimneys, pipes and valleys in order to deflect water away from those seams and joints.

Often times the source of a roof leak is at the flashing intersection. Depending on the flashing material, it may have developed holes or broken pieces due to natural wear and tear. Winter weather, including high winds and rains, can easily damage the flashing and cause it to pull away from the roof. Flashing is also affected by salty air, excessive heat and heavy snowfall. The flashing could have also been improperly installed, causing drying and cracking of the material.

4) Ice Dams

Ice dams are thick ridges of solid ice that build up along the eaves of the roof.  If you live in a cold climate with snowy winters, your roof is automatically facing a dangerous ice dam risk. The buildup of ice and water runs down the roof, and then freezes at the cold overhang, slowly piling ice up as the winter weather continues. 

The results of an ice dam can spell disaster for your roof.  Because the ice dam prevents snow from melting off the roof, water backs up behind the dam, causing serious roof and interior leakage. The icy cold mix can also begin to seep through the insulation, walls and other areas where water can penetrate. Ice dams are a common and preventable roofing problem during the wintertime.

5) Materials Damage

Roofing material is just like any product on the market today. There are higher quality roof materials and lower quality roof materials. Even the highest quality material has to face winter weather and can be impacted by ice dams or damaged flashing. If the slates, tiles, or shingles are old or low quality, chances are they will need to be repaired or fixed before the snowy season.

Wind can cause roofing materials to lift, curl or come 

straight off the home. Corrosion can also deteriorate roofing materials, and allow water in. Other common wear and tear roofing conditions, such as tree branches, falling objects, and animals, can also create damage that will only be exacerbated by winter weather. 

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(excerpt from "Reasons Why Your Roof Won't Survive This Winter") 

For over 30 years Fiderio & Sons has been committed to providing quality renovation services to clients throughout Central Connecticut.