As a Greater St. Louis homeowner we are sure you are well aware that our freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your home’s exterior. We consider it our job at RRSA St. Louis to help make sure you and your home are properly prepared when temperatures dip. The consistent change in St. Louis winter of being below and above freezing can build up water and ice in unwanted areas and can cause real damage to your house.
Below we discuss two of the major problems Greater St. Louis homeowners experience during our cold winter months:
Improper Roof Ventilation–In this previous RRSA St. Louis blog post, we discuss proper roof ventilation and what can happen if your Greater St. Louis roof is not properly ventilated.
Here are three signs of an unventilated or under-ventilated attic:
- Look at your eaves and roof. If you don’t see any attic vents on the roof or in the eaves, you need to have some installed. Your roof may have a ridge vent, which is a low profile, continuous vent running along the peak of the roof. Or it may have gable vents, which are louvered openings at the top of gables.
- Thick ridges of ice on your eaves in winter are a sign of poor attic ventilation. The warm air that escapes the rooms below gets trapped in the attic. Snow melts and the water refreezes on the cold eaves, creating ice dams.
- The warm air that escapes your living space also carries moisture that will condense on rafters or roof sheathing. It is wise to inspect your attic. Make sure to take a flashlight with you, since attics are famously dark. If you see dampness or frost anywhere in the attic, you need better ventilation and some attic vents.
Ice Dams and Water Damage–An ice dam earns its name by trapping pools of melted water behind the frozen dam created when melted snow re-freezes along the eaves, where the roof is coldest. Water trapped behind an ice dam can flow under roof shingles and leak into the house, damaging walls, floors, and other materials. Several conditions must exist for ice dam damage to occur. If all these conditions are present, it’s likely that some water will leak into your house.
While you can’t prevent snow from collecting on your roof, there are other things you can do to prevent ice dams from causing water damage to your house. Some homeowners choose to focus on reducing the amount of heat that escapes into the attic, warming the upper part of the roof deck and causing snow to melt evenly.
This type of ice dam prevention typically involves sealing air leaks in the attic floor and other solutions. Adequate attic ventilation is also important to keep the underside of the roof at the same temperature as the outside air.
The winter months can lead to some of the most costly home repairs, but as the old adage goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Let us provide that prevention with a free home inspection. Call us today at the number below and let us help you make sure your home survives the winter months and is ready when the upcoming spring storms arrive.
Serving Greater St. Louis, Chesterfield, St. Charles, O’Fallon