Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against weather extremes, being the only part of your home completely exposed to outside conditions. You may already have heard advice on the importance of keeping your roof in good condition in preparation for winter. We’re also sure you’ve asked yourself the question: what exactly does winter do to my roofing?
If your home was built in the past 50 years or so, then your attic area is likely built with wooden trusses, which are basically your roof’s skeleton. They define the roof pitch, forming the part where the roof deck is nailed to. Modern blown-in insulation is installed right under the roof deck, where trusses are half-exposed to outside temperatures.
What happens during cold weather is that the upper part contracts from the cold while the lower part expands from the heat in the attic. This results in truss lift, which causes audible creaking and popping and leads to severe cracking.
While this condition recedes once outside temperatures rise, repetitive truss lift over the years can cause permanent damage. If this is the case, you may need to have the attic floor insulated instead of the roof deck. The less heat in your attic, the less truss lift there will be.
Ice Dams and Icicles
Ice dams form when heat leaks through an improperly insulated roof. The outer roofing layer melts the ice just enough so it runs down the slope and refreezes just as it reaches the roof’s edge. This cycle repeats up to where it creates a dam-like structure that, instead of allowing water to flow down the gutters, pushes water back up under the outer roofing material and into the roof deck. Icicles form the same way as ice dams, but instead of backing up, water flows over the roof’s edge, forming icicles.
The combination of proper attic insulation and ventilation is important to prevent ice dams from forming. If your roof tends to form ice dams in the winter, have your attic insulation issues addressed by professionals. You can also have them inspect for damage.
Kroll Construction is one of the few roofing contractors who offer both installation and repair services. Call us today at (844) 688-9632 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation and estimate. We serve many areas in and around Detroit.