With the brutal winter conditions in Nashville and across the country, it’s a good time to address the winter roofing concerns that you should be aware of. This article describes winter roofing concerns caused by cold weather and problems that can occur with roof repair in various seasons.
If you restrict comments to hurting the roof itself, it’s a too-narrow scope question, because some cold weather and winter roof problems can cause serious trouble in other building areas and with other building components too.
- Heavy weight of accumulated snow, particularly near spring when heavy snow covering may absorb rainfall, can cause structural damage, breaking rafters and catastrophic collapse.This worry is more of a concern on older structures whose framing may be below modern standards. However it can occur on newer structures that either were not properly framed (wrong size and spacing of framing members (rafters, trusses, purlins)), or not properly connected (inadequate or improper nailing, improper or inadequate rafter bearing on the top plate or at the ridge).
- Serious fall injuries, even death, can occur when people try to clear the snow off of their laden roofs without knowing safe procedures for doing-so. Secondary damage occurs from people chopping to try to get rid of ice, damaging shingles and gutters and ice pushing off gutters leading to later leaks and building water entry.
- Snow-blocked plumbing vents (too-short vents) leading to poor drainage and even sewer gas backups into the building. Also, this is unsanitary and an explosion risk.
- Cracked broken shingles on older roofs that are walked-on when cold.
- Skylight leaks if covered by deep snow followed by heavy rain. This is most likely at skylights that were already damaged or that were not properly installed, flashed, sealed.
- Other roof flashing leaks or leaks at worn roof areas are more likely to show up in the building interior when the weather begins to warm and there is accumulated snow on the building roof. The accumulated snow slows the mechanical drainage of water off of the roof surface. This gives water more time to find its way into the structure through even the smallest defect at a hole in a roof valley, a loose section of chimney flashing, or an area of worn shingles.
- Ice dams that leak into walls can lead to a costly mold, insect or rot problem. This can be a much bigger and more costly problem than first meets the eye. Ice and water can leak into and around some windows and walls due to ice dams. It is important for readers to understand that the problems caused by ice dams at roof edges can affect more building areas than the roof itself. This includes leaks into the attic or roof cavity, leaks into building walls, and an invitation to wood destroying insects or to serious building and building insulation mold contamination. Read more at ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS.
See FLAT ROOF MOISTURE & CONDENSATION.
And if you’re using heat tapes at roof edges to avoid ice dam leaks, See HEAT TAPES & CABLES for ROOF ICE DAMS.
- Cold weather roof noises: cracks, booms, crashes. We have fielded some interesting reports of annoying roof noises, some of which occur only in very cold weather. On flat and low slope roofs, expanding freezing ice can fracture with a terrific booming noise. Also, temperature-related movements in roofing materials can cause annoying roof noises that lead to building noise complaints by the occupants.
See NOISE CONTROL for ROOFS for details.
Year Round Roofing Procedures
If proper cold-weather roofing procedures are followed, experts can install roofs throughout the year. However if your roofer is not an expert in cold-weather roofing the roof job may indeed not be properly executed and may leak or have a shorter life.
Too hot roof surfaces (asphalt shingle, roll roofing, modified bitumen) may be damaged by workers in very hot weather.
Too wet roof surfaces may result in materials being installed in violation of the roofing manufacturer’s instructions, industry standards, and good practice, resulting in reduced roof life. Don’t install roofing in the rain nor install roof coverings over wet surfaces.
Too cold roof surfaces and cold weather roofing conditions have a different set of concerns. Some examples of common cold weather snafus during re-roofing or new roof installation include:
- Cracked shingles installed wherever shingles had to be bent, e.g. over a ridge or hip. Both cracking wear and possibly foot traffic wear (and granule loss) can occur.
- Inadequate nailing and hasty or sloppy shingle placement due to the rush that comes to some workers who are suffering cold fingers and general discomfort
- Inadequate flashing or sealing, including later wind-damage if the shingle tabs didn’t seal down well (requires sun exposure) before a wind storm occurs; use of mastics and sealants that don’t work in low temperatures (there are now cold-weather approved caulks and sealants, and an expert warms the shingles to be bent by leaving them in a heated space until needed). See WIND DAMAGE to ROOFS for examples of wind damaged shingles
Continue reading at site originally published : COLD WEATHER ROOF TROUBLE at InspectApedia.com
If you live in the Nashville area, call TSCR for all your roofing needs