Winter is coming, and you may be wondering what you can do to prepare your Cambria County home for the temperatures to drop. A well-maintained roof plays a crucial role in keeping your home safe and comfortable during the harsh winter months.
Do you have a little extra time and some money to put towards keeping your family safe this winter? If so, consider getting your roof ready for winter. A new roof can help ensure that you get through the next few months with no problems. You might not think much about your roof until it starts to leak or let snow in, but having one that is in good condition can make all the difference in terms of keeping your family safe and dry throughout the coming months. Here are some tips for getting your roof ready for winter in Cambria County.
Necessary precautions against harsh weather conditions
When winter winds start whipping, you should take precautions to avoid a roof disaster. If your roof starts showing cracks or is getting damaged by snow, you need to act quickly. In the middle of winter, trying to fix a roof can mean serious problems for homeowners. Here are precautions you should take before the next storm hits:
- Clean out gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams. Ice dams are chunks of ice that build up at the edge of your roof, blocking water from draining correctly. This causes water damage inside your home and can lead to a collapsed roof.
- Check for loose shingles, vents, flashing and chimneys before the first snowfall of the season. Loose pieces can fall off during a storm and cause damage to the rest of your home.
- Clean leaves, twigs, or other debris from your roof, so it doesn't get caught in wind gusts or heavy snowfall.
- Repair Leaks and Add Flashings: If you find something wrong with your roof, don't put off having it fixed. If there is a leak or gap anywhere in your roofing system, water will seep into the building's structure and cause problems (mainly mold). A good rule of thumb is if water gets through something, it isn't doing its job correctly.
Ways Winter Causes Roof Damage
Winter provides us with a beautiful landscape to enjoy, but it also brings the potential for damaged roofs. Most of this damage is caused by snow and ice accumulating on the roof during the winter months. However, the other things cause damage as well. Here are some common ways winter causes roof damage:
- Snow Load: Most roofs are not constructed to hold more than a few inches of snow. Heavy snows can weigh down your roof and cause significant structural damage. Snow loads can also shift when heavy snows melt, causing a loss of balance in the structure and severe problems for you.
- Ice Dams: Ice dams form when melted snow refreezes on your roof. This build-up can cause water to leak into your attic or under the shingles. The weight of ice dams can also damage your structure, causing you costly repairs.
- Leaking: If a leak forms from an ice dam, you will generally see signs of water leaking through ceilings or walls before any real damage has occurred.
- Condensation occurs when warm air inside your house leaks through cracks in your building envelope where cold air comes in contact with the warm air; condensation will form on the cold surface.
- Tree limbs: When the wind blows, these branches can break and fall on top of your roof, which will cause significant damage. Plus, if the branch is big enough to do severe damage, it's probably too big to clean off quickly. In this case, you might want to consider cutting down the tree altogether.
- Strong winds: As the temperature drops during winter, you can be susceptible to strong winds. Strong winds can easily cause structural damage to your roof, such as lifting shingles or even popping off the nails holding them down. Strong winds can also blow debris from trees and other sources onto your roof.
Weather conditions associated with winter
Winter is the coldest season in the Northern Hemisphere when the days are short and nights are long. The weather in winter is generally very unpredictable, but it can also be beautiful if you know how to dress appropriately and what to expect. Here's a complete guide to winter weather:
- Cold weather: Cold weather conditions can be hazardous. If you're not bundled up, you can get frostbite or hypothermia. It causes water lines and pipes to freeze over, which can make your house unlivable. If you're outside in it for too long, you might even die.
- Snowfall: it makes everything more slippery and dangerous to drive on, and if there's a lot of snow on the ground, shoveling out your car and driveway can be a lot of work. Snowfall also makes it difficult for people to do their daily activities outside, like walking their dog or taking out the trash.
- Freezing rain: The resulting ice crystals fall to the Earth, giving snow and sleet their white appearance. In most places in winter, temperatures are low enough to ensure that at least some cloud droplets will freeze into ice crystals.
- Ice storms: Occur when an area within a storm accumulates several inches of snow. Then, the region experiences a warm front where temperatures rise above freezing or if the ground was already frozen from a previous cold spell. The rapid temperature change causes the snow to melt and refreeze on contact with surfaces, such as power lines, trees, vehicles and even whole houses.
- Sleet: This mixture of rain and snowfalls to the ground and accumulates. Sleets are generally light, with enough accumulation to make driving hazardous on untreated roads. The sleet usually does not accumulate enough to disrupt normal activities.
- Blizzard: Blizzard conditions may persist for hours or days, making vehicular travel impossible and even dangerous for foot travel. Extreme blizzard conditions are often associated with whiteout conditions where the visibility is near zero.