Roofing issues are common in Michigan with the strong winds generated between the lakes. However, winters offer unique challenges for roofs on homes around Lansing.
It is important to understand what causes these issues and how you can limit their impact on your home. Remember, waiting until the middle of winter and you have a significant problem is the worst time to try to hire a roofing contractor to fix the problem. Take a few minutes now and schedule KGT to ensure your home is ready before the arctic weather settles across the area.
Cold Winter Winds
Everyone across Michigan is aware of the frigid winds that blow across the area over the winter. Fewer leaves on the trees allow these winds to blow freely against any building in their way. When this happens, your siding and roof take a strong hit, leading to damage.
The frigid air causes the tar adhesive to give, leading to edges of the shingles to peel up. Then the winds coming through and start pulling at those edges. Eventually, enough of the shingle is peeled up that the right wind comes through and rips the shingle off.
Ice Dams on Your Roof
Heat rises in your home and without proper insulation, it heats the snow directly on your roof. This then gets caught at the edge of your roof creating a dam.
While the icicles that form as a result of the ice dam may be pretty as they hang off your roof, they are indicative of greater trouble. As this dam continues to build it prevents water from draining off your roof properly.
This water then pushes up under your shingles. As it refreezes it causes those shingles to peel up, making them more susceptible to wind damage. In extreme cases, this condition will work its way past the ice shield under your shingles and cause damage to the sheathing underneath.
Too Much Snow
One concern during major snowstorms in the Lansing area is too much snow on a roof. While the snow load is not generally a concern of newer buildings, it certainly may be one for older structures.
To understand snow load you have to understand the weight of the snow it brings. As you consider this, you can see how the kind of snow will play a major factor in what your roof can handle. The fluffier and drier snow the more your roof can easily handle up to 40 inches, more than usually falls at any given time in Michigan.
However, denser snow can pose a substantial problem maxing out at about 20 inches. During major snowstorms, you may experience this amount of snow, and want to be sure your roof will hold up to it.
Damage to your roof will weaken the integrity of your roof, reducing the load it can bear. If the sheathing or rafters have molded or sustained damage, they will sustain far less weight, and you may have a significant problem before long.
Roofing Issues Lead to Leaks
All of these roofing issues combine to create leaks in your roof. These may start small, making small stains on your ceiling. However, if left unresolved, they will quickly cascade into additional problems.
Ultimately, these leaks will ruin your ceiling, walls, and even your rafters and studs. Any time you detect a leak, you need to investigate the problem and find a solution. In some cases, you will be able to patch the problem with some liquid roofing nails. Other cases may require caulking around skylights and vents coming through your roof. Extreme cases may require replacing your roof entirely.
Prepare for Winter
The right time to prepare your roof for the winter is before the snow and frigid air settle across the area. Begin by simply inspecting what you can easily see of your roof.
As you look at your roof you want to look for any signs of shingles peeling up, missing, or even a section not laying squarely in place. These are all problems you want to solve early to avoid major leaking problems.
Next, inspect all the places where a vent, skylight, or anything else is coming through the roof. Look for obvious leaks like water dripping from the ceiling. Also, look for discoloration or bubbling of the paint on your ceiling. Finally, press on the ceiling if you can reach it, and see if there is any sponginess.
If you find any of these signs, call KGT to evaluate your situation, and make a plan for how to make your roof safe over the winter.