Common Winter Roofing Issues in Tennessee

Winter conjures up images of homes with snowy roofs and dangling icicles. But though these images can be pretty, the reality of winter—snow, rain, and damaging storms—can be hard on roofs and homeowners. As you prepare your roof for winter, you can prepare yourself for the issues you might encounter. Below is a list of some common winter roofing problems and some tips on roof repair in winter.

Problem: Ice Dams.

Ice Dam

An ice dam is a barrier of ice that stops melting snow from flowing off the roof. This occurs when heat escaping through the roof melts the snow on it. The water flows down the roof, but refreezes where the roof is not heated. When ice builds up, water cannot escape and flows under the shingles, causing damage to the roof and letting water into the house.

To prevent the buildup of ice dams, make sure your attic is well-ventilated, so warm air from inside can escape without heating the roof. Also ensure that your attic is well-insulated, which will keep warm air from escaping. 

Problem: Condensation

Common Winter Roofing Issues in Tennessee 1
Memphis home with Rotting due to humidity and growth of molds wooden roof structures

When warm air from the house rises to the attic, it hits the cold inside of the roof and causes condensation. This can cause mold, mildew, and structural damage to the roof. Ensuring that your attic is well-ventilated will help prevent condensation, as will ensuring that the attic is well-insulated, which keeps heat in the house.

Problem: Weather

Storms with rain, snow, or heavy wind can lead to roofing issues, including leaks in the flashing on the roof, loss of shingles due to rain or wind, and gutter damage from icicles. Preventative actions can include keeping your gutters clear, trimming branches on trees near the roof, and inspecting flashings to ensure that they have not been pulled loose in a storm. Knocking down icicles can keep them from injuring people, pets, or property—or the roof and gutters.

Memphis house roof gutter filled with leaves autumn
Memphis house gutter filled with fallen leaves in the autumn

But sometimes, preventative measures may not be enough and winter roof repair may be necessary. The good news is that, if needed, roofing in cold weather is possible.

In determining what temperature is too cold to put on a roof, you must consider what kind of adhesives and materials are used. Installing metal roofs in winter is the easiest, because the metal panels do not become brittle and the adhesives are not impacted by cold temperatures.

Asphalt shingles can be installed, though they become fragile and difficult to work with when the temperature is low. The sealant that attaches them to the roof relies on sunlight to fully set, which may take several weeks in the winter. Flat rubber roofs, which also require adhesives, cannot be installed in winter, though flat PVC and TPO roofs, which use hot-air-sealed bonds, can be.

At Don Sharp Home Improvements, we can help with roof inspection, preventative measures, winter roofing problems, roof leak repair, or gutter problems. Give us a call at (901) 335-4325 and check out our site for more information on gutters and roofing.

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