If your attic isn’t insulated and vented properly, you could have a big problem on your hands this winter: Your roof could leak. Here’s what you need to know.
Watch Out This Winter: Poor Attic Insulation Can Cause a Leaky Roof
A poorly insulated house – or an attic that’s not properly vented – can cause you expensive problems. Even if your roof is fairly new, you should head up into your attic and give everything a good once-over; that way, you can identify shortcomings and head off potential issues before they cost you thousands (or more).
How Do Poor Insulation and Poor Ventilation Cause Roofs to Leak During Winter?
During Michigan’s notoriously brutal winters, snow piles up on homeowners’ rooftops. When the attic is poorly insulated or isn’t ventilated properly, the bottom layer of snow melts; then, when the water makes its way to the overhang (where there’s no insulation at all), it re-freezes, causing a pool of ice on the roof called an ice dam. A key way to know if this is happening on your roof is to look out for icicles. When you see icicles, it’s a sign that there’s poor ventilation or insulation inside your attic that’s causing snow to melt and re-freeze.
If there were only one snowfall and only one instance of water re-freezing when it hit the edge of your roof, this wouldn’t be a huge problem. However, most often, another snowstorm brings in more snow that melts and re-freezes, enlarging the height of the ice dam on the edge of your roof. When that happens, the melted snow has nowhere to go; it sits on your roof in a puddle, and eventually, it’s likely to make its way into your house.
One solution: Try to keep your upper levels cooler than the rest of the house if you can. Then, when it’s feasible, have your roof insulation improved and get proper vents installed by a professional roofer.
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