Is your roof tough enough for the

Your home’s hat is hit hard­est in a win­ter storm

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - MIKE HOLMES

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

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