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Albany Roofers: Article About Winter Roofing Challenges

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Accumulations of snow and ice on one's rooftop can cause a variety of problems for homeowners. Fortunately, these problems are entirely preventable for those who make proactive roof maintenance a priority. Since most homeowners would rather not be tasked with the removal of snow from their roofs, experienced Albany roofers are available for winter maintenance.

The best way to deal with roofing problems is to prevent them. Before the first freeze, homeowners should have their roof and attic inspected by a knowledgeable roofer. The inspection will reveal deteriorated flashing and sealants, obstructed soffit vents, inadequate amounts of insulation or a need for increased attic exhaust. Addressing these problems can remedy a host of more serious issues, including ice dams.

Several winter roofing problems originate with an overheated attic. Temperatures can remain below freezing for extended periods during the winter months, causing snow and ice to accumulate on rooftops. If the attic is overheated, it will heat the underlying roofing deck and create a layer of meltwater beneath the snow. This could lead to a sudden avalanche of snow from the roof that has the potential to damage gutters, fascia and soffits.

The roofing experts at Ideal Construction of Albany NY can assist you with any questions regarding roofing or siding.

Depending on how much snow has accumulated, the snow slide could injure anyone who might be standing beneath the eaves at that moment.

The meltwater created by the overheated attic will flow beneath the snow layer until it meets the eaves. Since the eaves are unheated, the water will refreeze and create an ice dam. As the process continues, the ice dam grows larger. Ice dams can tear away shingles, gutters and fascia, leaving the roof vulnerable to the steady flow of meltwater. If roofing penetrations have been left vulnerable by weakened sealants and flashing, it will penetrate the roof and leak into the attic.

The best solution is to address the problems with the attic that are causing it to overheat. However, temporary solutions are available. One solution is to remove the snow from the roof. Homeowners can purchase a roof rake that enables them to remove the snow while remaining safely on the ground. Alternatively, they can hire professional roofers to take care of snow removal. Because professionals have the right tools and safety equipment, this is often a better solution than the "do it yourself" approach.

If ice dams have already formed, homeowners can purchase a chemical snowmelt that will cause the dam to melt. The application of some harsh chemicals can damage the roof's nails or shingles, however, so homeowners should be especially careful.

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