Winter Roofing Problems and Their Solutions

Toms River roofing experts understand that winter brings with it certain roofing problems that, if left unchecked, could cause serious problems for your home. The good news is that many winter roofing problems can be easily avoided with preventative maintenance.

Ice dams are caused when rooftop snow that is melted by an overheated attic refreezes at the roof’s eaves, creating a solid block of ice at the roof’s edge. As the winter progresses, the ice mass grows and destroys gutters, downspouts and shingles. Icicles that occur before the spring thaw begins are an indicator that ice dams are forming.

Properly ventilating and insulating your attic is the best way to prevent ice dams. The ENERGY STAR program recommends attic insulation in New Jersey at levels that provide at least an R-50 value, with R-60 being optimal. Your attic should have 1 square foot of ventilation equally divided between intake and exhaust for every thousand feet of attic floor space. Even if ice dams have already formed, addressing insulation and ventilation issues can prevent them from worsening.

Most roof leaks get their start at a roofing penetration like a chimney, a skylight or a vent pipe. This is because the flashing and sealants that waterproof those penetrations are much more susceptible to the elements than the shingles are.

If your attic is too warm and prematurely melts the snow on your roof, you could develop a leak that lasts the entire winter and causes serious damage to your home. If the leak causes an electrical short, a devastating house fire could result.

An annual roof inspection by a professional roofer is essential to preventing these types of leaks. Even if your roof is warranted for several decades, most roofing sealants are rated for between one and five years. Choose a roofer who walks the roof, paying special attention to penetrations and repairing and replacing worn flashing and sealants.

Freezing rain results in many broken branches. Depending on their size, branches that fall on your roof can cause damage similar to that of hailstones. If branches fall on your roof, they could damage the shingles and give rain and melting snow the ability to cause further damage. In the event that a large branch falls on your roof, have an experienced roofer remove the branch and inspect the shingles for damage. Replacing a few damaged shingles is far more affordable than fixing a leaking roof. The experts at Fortified Roofing, Toms River roofing contractors can answer your questions about skylights or gutters.

Term explained by Fortified Roofing, Toms River roofing contractors:


Roofing sealants are substances that are used to keep water from entering the roof through a penetration. They are always used in conjunction with a pipe boot or flashing as an overall waterproofing scheme.

Question answered by Toms River roofing contractors from Fortified Roofing:

How much insulation is needed to give an R-50 value?

The amount of insulation needed to reach a particular R-value is not as simple as installing a set number of inches of insulation. It depends on the type of insulation being used. Blown-in cellulose insulation has different requirements than a rolled fiberglass batt insulation does. Additionally, insulation must be kept dry in order for it to reach its maximum R-value.

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If you would like to ask a question regarding roofers, a new roof installation, roof leak repairs, skylight options or gutters and downspouts please contact Fortified Roofing today!

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