Even amidst a mild winter, Mother Nature can wreak havoc to your home. Here are some of the potential issues you may encounter this winter. While preventative measures during the fall would have minimized the risks, it’s not too late to give us a call to service your winter weather needs.
Gutters should be free and clear of debris in order to do their job in the winter. Clogged gutters accumulate water; when the water freezes, the weight, and that of any icicles that have formed, can cause the affected gutter to fall off.
“Once freezing temperatures hit, gutters are harder to clean. We may quote out to replace and do a gutter guard installation,” said G. Fedale Sales Manager Jake Domanski.
An adequately insulated and properly ventilated home not only decreases heating bills, but also prevents roof damage. The telltale sign of a problem is the presence of frost on the roof. Condensation buildup is caused by a couple of factors, including a lack of ventilation, said Storm Damage Manager Joe Santucci.
“As warm, humid air from the house enters the attic, it hits colder air. This causes condensation and mold buildup on the underside of the roof. Warm, humid air into the attic from a bathroom fan creates the same situation,” Joe said.
We work in tandem with Delmarva Insulation, our preferred insulation contractor, to address these issues.
“Attics are the most under-insulated areas of the home that we see in our area. It is very important to air seal and provide adequate insulation depths,” said Eric Burdette, an estimator and sales rep for Delmarva Insulation. He added, “By teaming up with G. Fedale Roofing and Siding, we can provide the customer with ways to extend the life of the roof as well as save the customer money. It’s a great return of investment.”
Ice damming, though not as great of a concern with newer construction, is yet another ramification of an under-insulated home. As snow melts on the main roof, it freezes as it hits the bottom of the roof and causes moisture build-up at the eves.
At times, product choice contributes to problems down the road. Wind-driven snow entering the attic through metal ridge vents can lead to water in the attic and, ultimately, indoor leaks. At G. Fedale, we use Snow Country ridge vents constructed with fiberglass mesh and a heavy-gauge shell.
Sometimes, it’s not winter weather that causes a problem, but extreme conditions in previous seasons. Joe points to heavy rains and the tornado the northern Delaware region experienced in the summer. Damage caused by high wind events may initially go unnoticed. “Shingles blow upward, and then fall back down again. In the next weather event, they can blow off,” he said.
“We are still able to install shingles through the winter,” Jake said, and added, out of respect for our crews and to ensure their safety, we try not to work much below freezing. Nonetheless, he said, “A leak-free roof system is critical.”