During the colder months, most people spend their time indoors, cozying up with their loved ones, enjoying a warm beverage or catching up on their favorite TV series. The last thing you want to deal with when relaxing at home is roof leaks. If it does happen, be sure to contact roofing professionals immediately. The sooner you deal with the issue, the fewer problems it can cause on your property.  

Winter Roof Leaks: What Usually Causes Them? 1

Read on to find out what usually causes roofs to leak in winter. 

Common Causes of Winter Roof Leaks

Shingle Damage

Shingles can develop damage for several reasons, such as severe storms, high winds and natural wear and tear. No matter what caused the issue, get repairs quickly. The longer you wait to deal with the damage, the more likely roof leaks will happen. It’s a good idea to schedule an inspection to catch issues before they get worse. 

Gutter Clogs

Gutters play a major role in keeping residential roofing systems in good shape. They direct water away from your home’s exterior, preventing water damage. For them to do their job efficiently, they must be clog-free. Clogs will cause water to overflow to the roof and drip to the sides of the house. In winter, it will cause melted water to pool and deteriorate shingles. Poor gutter maintenance can also contribute to ice dams, basement flooding and foundation issues. Save yourself from this issue by having your gutters cleaned regularly. 

Ice Dams

During the colder months, you turn up the heating to keep your living space warm and cozy. The heat from your home will travel to your attic and warm it up. If the area reaches a higher temperature than the outdoor air, snow on the roof will melt, freeze and build up. 

Ice dams accumulate and obstruct your roof, keeping water from draining properly. Ice dams can occur when the snow on your roof melts and refreezes. Over time, the weight of the ice can wear out the shingles. If that happens, water will penetrate the roof and your attic. To avoid ice dams, ensure your attic has sufficient insulation and ventilation. Doing so will keep snow from melting and refreezing. 

Compromised Flashing

Flashing surrounds vulnerable areas of your roof, such as vents, chimneys and skylights. If they develop cracks, water can seep through roofing protrusions. Before winter, you want to complete your remodeling project. Moreover, don’t forget to schedule a professional roof inspection. 

Low-Slope Roofing

Flat or low-slope roofs are more prone to leaks in winter. It’s because melted snow travels slower to the drain than to a roof with a higher pitch. Water is also more likely to build up in a low-slope system. You must eliminate standing water on your roof because it can harm shingles and cause water to infiltrate beneath them.

Leaking Bathroom Fan

Sometimes, water can drip from your ceiling not because of your roof but due to a bathroom fan. It occurs when the moisture traveling up to the vent hose or fan freezes in winter and melts in spring. It will seem like you have a roof leak, but it’s just moisture dripping down from the bathroom fan. Have a professional check the leak to confirm if this is the case. 

Excess Indoor Humidity

Many of today’s home improvement projects include the addition of skylights. They help illuminate your living space and allow you to enjoy views of the sky and stars. You might sometimes notice moisture surrounding them. While it could be a roof leak, there’s also a high possibility that the water is from excess humidity inside your home. If your furnace has a built-in humidifier and it’s at 40% to 50%, moisture will likely accumulate in your living space and skylights. Turn your humidifier down when temperatures are low to avoid this scenario. 

Plumbing Leaks

Before contacting your roofer, check if the leak is near a plumbing fixture or water supply. It isn’t uncommon for water to drip down ceilings due to damaged shower pans, improper caulking, overflowing tubs or poor wax rings on toilets. 

Water can also move several feet away from the source before it leaks through ceiling penetrations like recessed lights. Plumbing issues can happen at any season, but people often mistake them for ice dams when they occur in winter. It’s not easy to spot and repair plumbing leaks, so it’s best to speak with home improvement or repair professionals. 

Poor Attic Ventilation and Insulation

Good insulation and ventilation ensure heat and humidity escape your attic efficiently. It also helps keep the area at moderate temperatures. Excessive humidity can cause damage to the roof. Humid air that comes in touch with cold decking will likely turn into frost. This cycle will recur until around half an inch of frost has accumulated. Frost will melt and leak into your living space as the temperatures rise. It could be challenging to deal with this issue since it’s not actually a roof leak. 

How Do You Deal With This Roofing Issue?

Don’t wait long to contact a reputable professional if you suspect you have a roof leak. They will look for signs of damage, find out its cause and determine the best way to fix it. You might have to wait until spring if the problem requires extensive repairs. It would be safer for you and your roof to have the job done this season. 

While waiting for the repairs, your roofer might suggest short-term solutions and do temporary fixes until their team can do the appropriate repairs. They can also eliminate ice dams and use fans to maintain moderate temperatures in the attic. 

Request a Roofing Estimate Today!

Keep in mind that delaying repairs is not a good idea. You can always count on AllPoint Construction LLC for your residential roofing needs. We also offer superior kitchen and bath remodeling services. With our team’s expertise, you can be confident your project will be done exceptionally well. Call us at (734) 407-7110, or fill out our contact form to get a free estimate.