By 2penn, Dec 30 2019 02:39PM
Your roof has a big job to do for your house. It protects you and your belongings from the elements: the hot rays of sun in Summer and blustery Autumn breezes. Still, Winter brings your roof’s biggest tasks: heavy rainfall, low temperatures, and even snow. You need to be sure your roof is ready for the colder temperatures ahead of Winter months to ensure it can provide you the best in sheltering snowstorms and icy conditions.
UV Rays and Lower Temps
The sun’s destructive rays can wreak havoc on your asphalt shingles at any time of year. This is even true in Winter because it is not the heat but the rays from the Sun that inflict the damage. Roofing shingles consist of tiny particles, like bits of gravel or sand which break down over time under the UV rays. The asphalt does its job in protecting you and your home, but they take a beating after so many years of direct contact with UV light. During Winter, asphalt becomes hard and brittle from the lower temperatures. This leaves it more susceptible to damages from forces of nature, like falling tree branches, animal activity, or high winds. Over time, asphalt may more readily break under these conditions.
Think of them like sandpaper which loses its granules as it meets other materials. Even if the shingles themselves do not break from accidental impacts, the small granules can be stripped off. The underlying surface of the shingle is then more vulnerable to UV rays without its protective barrier. The direct sunlight will slowly eat away at the asphalt, disintegrating it over time. To prevent such damages to your roof, you should always clear any debris after a storm.
Ice dams are extremely dangerous, not only for your roof but also for anything around the perimeter of your home. Warm air rises in attics, so snow at the top of your roof that is closest to the shingles is likely to melt first. As the water trickles down under the frozen snow, it cools and refreezes near the lower section of the roof where the attic of your home is cooler. As more snow at the top of the roof melts, it is trapped there. This creates a dam that can leak into your home if any of the shingles are damaged. Where an ice dam occurs, you should melt the ice with regular rock salt. Then, you can use a snow rake to loosen and remove any leftover snow.