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Undo Last Year's Winter Roofing Leaks Before This Year Hits

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Did you have problems with your roof leaking over the last winter? Did you do anything to prevent the problem from occurring this coming winter? Well, if not, now's the time to get busy repairing the damage that is allowing the leaks to occur. Here, you'll find a few things that can help you do just that.

Reason for Winter Leaks

Your roof goes through a lot throughout the year, but no season is as hard on your roof as winter. Why do these leaks happen? The roofing materials were in failing condition before winter set in – the harsh conditions were too much for the materials to withstand. Backed up gutter systems lead to ice damns. Ice damns push ice and water underneath the shingles along the edge of the roof. As the damn builds, the damage extends upwards and outwards and eventually, the shingles will lift, tear and the sub-roofing material will begin to rot. Freeze-thaw cycles that are annually occurring cause the materials to expand and contract. As this happens, the materials suffer abuse. This can eventually result in failing shingles and leaks popping up just about anywhere. Attic condensation can also contribute to the leaks in your roof. When the warm air from inside your home mixes with the cold air from outside, condensation forms. This condensation sits and causes wood to rot and eventually leak. Improving the ventilation in the attic will help lessen the damage.

Determine the Cause

Finding what's causing the leak can be difficult. Try starting up in the attic with a bright light and some chalk. Shine the light on every inch of the underside of the roof. Look for any wood that is darker than the surrounding materials – the dark wood is water damaged. Mark it with the chalk and continue with your search. Check the insulation for mold and discolorations. Sometimes, you'll be able to find the overhead leaks by looking at the insulation under your feet. Inspect the chimney and vent stack areas. These areas are prone to leak as the seals around them break down. This kind of leak may be easily fixed by replacing the seals.

Talk with your local roofing contractor for assistance. If you can't find the issue or have found the issue and now need help getting it fixed, he will help. Don't put your roof through another rough winter – if it didn't do well last year, this year will be even worse.


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