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Roof Leaks During Winter Snow – What to Do

A leaking roof in the middle of winter is one of the worst things you can deal with. This is because certain repairs must wait until spring. After all, they can’t be done while snow is present. However, leaving leaks unattended allows them to escalate, which can get pretty nasty. The longer you go without fixing a leak, the higher the chances it becomes a lot more serious. So, although you might not be able to fully fix the problem, you need to at least patch it up. This can give you time until the problem can be fully fixed. So, to help you out, we put together a guide on what to do when you have roof leaks during winter snow.

Try to spot leaks as early as possible

When dealing with roof leaks during winter snow, spotting them as early as possible is absolutely vital. If you can catch the problem before it becomes an actual issue, chances are you can get it fixed very easily. So, while it’s snowing, make sure to regularly check your roof for leaks and other damages. If you do everything you can to extend your roof’s lifespan, you won’t have to worry as much. Either way, keep an eye out for stans on both interior and exterior walls, condensation on skylights, and water dripping through the ceiling. All of these are clear signs that your roof is either already leaking or susceptible to a leak. So, if you spot any of these, check your roof for damage immediately. And if you do spot a leak, don’t panic. Gather your thoughts and get ready to take the next step.

 Roofs covered by snow.
Spotting leaks early is absolutely vital in preventing further damage.

Immediately call a professional

The best thing to do if you spot roof leaks during winter snow is to call a professional and ask for advice. The roofer will inspect your roof and decide the best course of action based on the damage’s extent. If you caught the leak early, chances are you can get away with patching it up for the time being. Then, once spring is here and it’s safe for both the roofer and your roof, more extensive repairs can be done. Additionally, if you’re moving into a new home this winter, checking the roof should be the first thing you do once you move in. Of course, especially if you’re moving long distance, you should be prepared for challenges with the move itself. And if you’re moving to a colder climate, make sure you’re prepared to deal with what the colder weather entails.

Find a temporary solution for the damage

One of the most important things to do when you find a leak is to make sure it doesn’t escalate into a bigger problem. The roofing professional you called should be able to advise you on what to do. Also, having a roofing first aid kit on hand is always helpful for situations like this. After all, acting quickly to patch up the damage is vital, so having what you need on hand greatly reduces the risk of further damage. An example of a temporary fix is to cover up a leak until it can be fully fixed or remove ice dams and use fans to regulate the temperature in the attic, so another doesn’t form. Either way, the professional you contacted should be able to help you decide what the best move is for your exact situation.

A house during winter.
Patching up damage before it becomes more serious is a good way to go about it.

What are the most common causes of leaks when it’s snowing?

As with most roofing problems, prevention is the best way to deal with them. And to be able to deal with them effectively, you should know what causes leaks. Thankfully, most of the tips we can give for prevention fall under regular seasonal maintenance. So, what are the most common causes of these leaks?

Clogged gutters

If your gutters become clogged with debris, they can’t drain water, ice, and snow. In this case, much like with ice dams, they cause water to back up and eventually seep under the shingles. This, of course, leads to a leak, so make sure you properly clean your gutters. Thankfully, cleaning your gutters is part of seasonal maintenance, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Just remember to have the gutters cleaned before winter, and you should be just fine.

A bird inside a gutter.
Clogged gutters are the most common reason for leaking roofs in general.

Ice dams

Ice dams happen when snow melts on your roof, travels downwards, and freezes again at the eaves. This, in turn, prevents more water from flowing downwards, creating another layer. Eventually, this leads to water seeping through the shingles and causing leaks. The best way to prevent ice dams is to adequately insulate your attic. This way, the snow melts evenly and doesn’t have a chance to refreeze on the roof.

Additionally, if an ice dam forms, it must be removed as quickly as possible. The longer you leave an ice dam on your roof, the worse the problem will get. Since they can quickly escalate into enormous problems, preventing ice damage is important, especially with ice dams. So, keep an eye on your roof, and as soon as you spot an ice dam, call a professional to handle it.

Roof leaks during winter snow – what to do – wrap up

While prevention is, by far, the best way to deal with roofing issues during winter, you can never guarantee that nothing will go wrong. So, you should be prepared to handle these problems quickly as they come up. After all, while leaks tend to start small, they can quickly escalate into much more significant issues over time. So, if you spot a leak during winter, don’t panic; remember to call a professional for advice. Then, work with them to patch up the problem before it becomes a severe issue. We hope this guide on what to do with roof leaks during winter snow helps you, and we wish you a good day.


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