Having the roof on your home or business begin to fail can be both a nuisance and a safety concern if not address properly and in a timely fashion. The roof is one of the most basic and important shields each building has from the elements, and allowing it to sit in disrepair for an extended period of time can result in further damage and added expense. This maxim proves most true during the winter periods, as falling snow and accumulated ice can turn even the smallest problems into a nightmare. While it may seem like the winter would be the worst time to affect roof repairs, there are clear-cut advantages that make braving the cold a wise choice
Save Time and Money
While some roofing specialists may charge extra for a service call during the winter months, there are plenty of ways you can make up the expense and come ahead in the long run. The most important of these ways is the amount of additional damage that can occur during the months you decided to wait, in order for things to warm up.
Damaged shingles are a prime example of this, with the moisture from snow and ice turning light damage into a morass of cracks and additional leaks. Shingles can even begin to curl up around the edges, allowing moisture to travel beyond that barrier to the underlying woodwork. As a result, not only will the affected shingles need replacing, you can expect added expense from treating the roof structure itself.
A faulty roof can also completely collapse if too much weight is put on it from snow and ice. Basic parameters set forth by the Institute for Business and Home Safety indicate that an excess of four inches of ice, two feet of old snow or four feet of new snow are the max values that a sound roof can take before collapse becomes a concern. If you want to avoid a full residential or commercial roof replacement, snow and ice accumulation needs to be watched like a hawk, as these numbers undoubtedly decrease if damage is present.
Along with the money saved by heading off damage before it gets worse is the savings in heating costs. Gaps or cracks in shingles or other roof elements can allow cold, winter air to come rushing in, plummeting the temperatures and sending you scurrying to the thermostat to pump it up. While this warmth will undoubtedly be a great relief, the bill at the end of the month will be much less so.
Lastly, not all contractors do charge extra during the winter, in fact the exact opposite. Much less roofing is done during the winter, making those months lean ones for contractors that depend solely on this type of work. As a result, competition can be fierce during this period, resulting in a smaller pricetag on the quote for the job.
Promote Good Health
Saving money is not the only benefit from winter roof repair, it also can help keep you and your family safer and healthier than if you were to wait. Spending an entire winter with a leaky roof, especially if you are unable to afford the offset in heating costs needed to keep yourselves warm, is a recipe for cold and flu viruses. These can easily turn into more serious complications, such as pneumonia, when continuing to live in a cold and unforgiving environment when sick.
A leaky roof left untended during the winter can also result in mold, with water from cracks and deformities seeping into the insulation underneath creating the perfect breeding ground. Mold in any capacity in the home is unhealthy and to be avoided at all costs.
While much less common, a roof left in disrepair for the winter can become a welcome entry point for small wild animals looking for shelter from the elements. Animals not only have the capacity to attack if they feel threatened, they can also carry communicable diseases for you or your pets. While your heart may yearn to help these little critters avoid freezing, leaving them an access point is ill advised.
When to Wait
There are certain circumstances where waiting until the spring is virtually mandatory. If the roof on your structure is flat, most glues and adhesives used for this type of job will freeze, causing them to fail prematurely. The only other option is using thermoplastic single ply flat roofing components, such as TPO or PVC, which are welded using hot air seams. If this method is too pricey, however, it may be necessary to wait until things thaw out.
If you are faced with the need to wait, be sure to throw a tarp over the affected areas until the repairs can be implemented. Definitely a very temporary fix, the tarp will at least keep out the lion’s share of moisture that can make things worse. Secure it tightly, as gusts of wind can easily whip it away if it is not, leaving your roof exposed to its nemesis.
A sound and reliable roof is especially important during the winter months, with the health and safety of your family at most risk when it is cold. While repairing or replacing your roof may seem best left until the cold times have passed, there are clear and undeniable advantages to avoid succumbing to the temptation to wait.
Contact Dirt Connections for Roofing Services Today!
Winter can take a toll on your roof. Although we may not want to face the music, your roof may be in need of repair. For help with assessing roof damage, call Dirt Connections or contact us online. We provide residential roofing services in Fairfax, VA as well as comprehensive commercial roofing services. Don’t gamble with your roof, trust the expert contractors at Dirt Connections today!