So how was your winter? Was it mild and cozy, with you tucked in all comfy by the fire during the cold? Or did you go through a patch of bad weather, and have to spend a hectic cold season worrying about whether or not your house would still have a roof come spring? Either way, one of the first things you want to do once the snows recede is to check on the state of your roof.
Signs of winter roof damage
Ice dams – if you’re seeing icicles hanging down from the eaves, then chances are you’ve got ice damming on your roof. This is caused by uneven heating and ventilation in your attic. You’ll want to check the insulation in your attic, as well as the exhaust vents in both the attic and your roof.
Ceiling stains – ceiling stains are pretty much a telltale sign of one problem or another, depending on the extent and location of the stains. If it’s confined to a particular area, it’s likely a small leak, an isolated case of roof damage, or a problem with some flashing. If you have stains in the attic ceiling, then you might need to check for problems with moisture, ventilation, and / or insulation; when combined with ice dams, it’s a virtual certainty that it’s one or more of the three. If the stains are on the ceilings above lower floors, then you might be looking at a problem with the plumbing.
Roof damage – this is a catch-all for the different types of the more obvious, visible damage or deterioration on the outside of the roof. Things to look out for are cracked, loose, or missing flashing; sagging and / or blockage in your gutters and downspouts; and areas of loose roofing material, or even bald patches where your roof’s shingles, roofing tiles, or what have you are missing entirely.
Aging roof – depending on the material your roof is made out of, you’ll want to check your roof’s estimated lifetime against when the roof itself was installed; if you’re nearing the end of the material’s lifetime, then you might want to arrange for a roof replacement. Even if your roof is still supposed to be good, outright signs of aging, such as deformation of the material, or a major loss of granules in the case of shingles, then you might want to get a professional opinion on the state of your roof.