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Four Roofing Mistakes To Avoid This Winter


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With the extreme cold and snow that impacts Toronto Ontario during the winter months, having a snug and warm home becomes a necessity. One of the key components that ensure your home is solid, secure, and warm for the winter is, of course, your roof. However, there are several common roofing mistakes that homeowners make, which can seriously tarnish your roof, but can also be avoided by following a few basic procedures.

It can be tempting to get rid of excess snow build-up by climbing onto your roof and removing it with a shovel, but this is actually not a good idea. Climbing onto the roof adds even more weight to an already struggling rooftop, and if your roof wasn’t in great condition to begin with, that extra weight could be enough to trigger a collapse. Not only that, your roof can be a particularly icy and slippery place in the wintertime and if you slip and fall you could end up badly injured, no matter how much snow catches your fall. Investing in a roof rake to clear snow off from a safe distance is a much better idea, and will get the job done without risking your home or your neck.

As a building’s heat flows upward through the attic and out of your home, it can hit that accumulated snowpack on top of your roof and cause some of it to melt. The melted snow then flows along the roof until it again hits a point below freezing, typically at the eaves or gutters. This process creates an ice dam, which stops the flow of water off the roof and can cause leaks, as the water has nowhere else to go. Leaving these areas untouched is a very risky roofing mistake. Instead, you should hire a roofing company that is well versed in how to cope with these problems, like Professional Roofers out of the GTA. If your ice dam has already caused leaks, it is especially important to call an emergency roofing repair service immediately to assess the damage and fix the problem at its source. Usually expert roofers in Toronto use a special steam machine to remove the ice dams, as pounding with shovels or a hammer can exacerbate the damage. It is also a good idea to keep the ventilation areas clear of snow using a roof rake.

Ice dams are often a symptom of two other roofing mistakes that people make in the winter: poor ventilation and poor insulation. Not having the proper ventilation can trigger the melting of rooftop snow by sending heated air from your home directly onto the snowpack. Proper ventilation, whether built into the home or mechanically added, allows the warmer air to flow away from the roof and keeps the surface there below 0 degrees Celsius.

A related error is having improper amounts of attic insulation. Not only will it raise your heating costs to have heated air flow upwards and out the roof, that heated air acts as a perfect catalyst for ice dam formation. Not paying attention to your attic insulation needs is a common mistake that can cause major damage to your roof and your home.

Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication.