Is your roof tough enough for the
Your home’s hat is hit hardest in a winter storm
ONE area of the house that gets hit the hardest during a winter storm is the roof. It should be strong enough to take the brunt of bad weather, and you need to make sure it can. To start, take a look at your roof. Ideally, it shouldn’t get a lot of snow buildup; the snow should just slick right off. Flat roofs get the most snow buildup, and that’s one reason they typically get more leaks. Ice also tends to accumulate on lower-sloped roofs because these roofs are difficult to insulate and ventilate — there often isn’t much room for insulation and air movement in a shallow attic. But if your roof gets a decent amount of snow on it, make sure it’s not melting in specific spots. That means there’s heat loss likely due to poor insulation and/or ventilation in the attic. After a snowfall, every homeowner should take a look at their roof and check for hot spots — areas on the roof where the snow has melted. It’s normal for some melting around venting and fireplace exhausts, but you shouldn’t see any bare patches on your roof. A snowcovered roof means your attic is doing its job. Also keep an eye out for icicles — another sign of heat loss. If your roof prematurely and void the warranty on the new shingles. I also like to see ice and water shield installed over the entire roof, on top of the plywood sheathing (yes, it should be plywood) — not just along the edges near gutters. This adds a second layer of protection against leaks and moisture, so if water gets in below the shingles the sheathing is watertight. Another reason why I like ice and water shield is it seals around nails, unlike tar paper, roofing felt or asphalt paper. If you have shingles on your roof, as most North American homes do, for every nail that goes through the tar paper there’s a tiny hole — an open invitation for water in your attic. Check your attic (and garage) after a storm too. If you see frost on the sheathing it’s not a good sign. It means your attic isn’t breathing which could lead to mould or rot. Any signs of mould, rot or bad structure in your roof is a red flag. Call a professional roofer. Snow shouldn’t be coming in either, as it can lead to mould and rot. Plus, big enough openings in your roof structure leaves room for critters. Your roof and attic are crucial when it comes to protecting your home over winter. Keep them in top shape. Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit makeitright.ca.