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What This Winter Did to Your Roof… and How You Can Fix It This Spring

March 12th, 2020

Winter is over and it’s time for Minnesota homeowners to begin to enjoy the warmer weather that is coming our way. But the winter months bring extreme weather that isn’t kind to your roof. Snow, ice, and wind, in all their glorious forms, may have done more damage than you think.

We put together a list of some damage signs to look for when you do your inspection.

Look in your attic

Until the recent uptick in temperature, your home most likely had a build-up of snow and/or ice on the roof. Either of these can be detrimental to your attic. If you live in a home that has had trouble with ice dams in the past, then your attic is a place you especially need to check. Ice dams can cause excessive condensation to your attic’s ceiling. Even a small amount of moisture build-up can lead to both wood rot and mold.

When you inspect your attic, some telltale signs are:

  • Hot or stuffy feeling – A properly ventilated attic should feel breezy. If it feels hot or stuffy, you have a ventilation problem.
  • Dark or black stains on wood surfaces – This is likely mold that needs to be removed
  • Wet Insulation – Another potential mold indicator. In addition, wet insulation doesn’t perform as well, and it will cost you extra money to heat or cool your home.
  • Frost buildup – In cold weather, water vapor in a poorly ventilated attic can freeze on the underside of your roof.
  • Trust your nose – A musty or moldy smell is a sign that there is a moisture problem.
Check ceilings for signs of paint discoloration or stains

There is no shortage of ways that water can enter your home, and you bet that melting snow is one of those ways. If you have a great roofing and gutters system (and have developed the good practice of raking your roof), then all that melting snow has probably disappeared without a hitch.

Take a good look at your ceilings. If you are noticing any paint discoloration or staining, that means water has made its way into your home. One of the most common causes for a ceiling water stain is a roof leak, that may be caused by a minor issue such as a damaged shingle, torn flashing, or loose screw in a section of your roof, or blockage in your gutters. Snow, ice, and wind can create these issues.

If you have water stains, don’t panic! A professional inspection of your roof and/or gutter system can pinpoint a solution.

Check for excessive granular loss

Shingle granules play a vital role in the preservation of your roof. They prevent your roof from being overexposed to the sun, in turn prolonging the need for another roof replacement.

Significant granular loss can be detrimental to the health of your roof. The snow and ice from this winter could have taken some extra granules with it, AND, importantly, may expose previously undetectable damage from a summer weather event.

This sounds technical, but thankfully, you won’t have to get up on your roof to inspect for excessive granular loss. Loose granules flow into your gutters with the water and pile up in your downspouts or directly onto the ground. If you inspect your downspouts and notice large amounts of granules, you may have an issue. Another easy way to detect granular loss is by simply looking at your roof for discoloration or light spots. If you see evidence, it may be time to call a professional like Shelter Construction for an inspection.

Here’s an easy one: look for curling, loose, or buckled shingles

If a quick review of your roof from the ground reveals a curled, buckled, loose, or missing shingle, it’s not a sign that your entire roof is compromised. Often it means just that – that a solitary shingle has become dislodged due to ice or wind. But it may mean, again, that previously undetected damage from a summer weather event is now, well, detectable. We recommend inspection by a qualified exterior contractor.

At Shelter, we perform free inspections and will perform minor repairs during the inspection to small damage that we find. Give us a call at 612-284-6985 or email me directly at jack@shelter-usa.com, and we will schedule a time for an inspection.

Jack is the marketing manager at Shelter Construction. He runs the company Facebook page, blog, email marketing, and is the head of content creation. In his spare time, he can be found on the basketball court.

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