Although our winters are mild here in South Louisiana, they are still cold enough to cause problems with shingles. This article will focus on how cold weather affects shingles and how homeowners can prevent winter damage.
Before we go any further, it’s a myth that you can’t apply shingles in the winter. Learn why you can and get some tips on how to do it in our recent blog post.
Let’s get it!
How Winter Can Affect Your Louisiana Roof:
During the winter, roofs are constantly exposed to extreme cold and changing temperatures.
These two factors cause a great deal of movement within the structure of the roof itself, which adds stress to the asphalt shingles at an accelerated rate. This puts the shingles at risk for cracking and warping.
Common Louisiana Winter Shingle Roof Issues
In South Louisiana, you might not think you have to prepare your roof for winter. Sure, we don’t have severe weather conditions like snow and ice as they do up north, but the cold can adversely affect your roof and even the interior of your home.
Some of the most common Louisiana winter effects on your shingle roof are:
One of the more common winter roof issues in Louisiana is condensation.
When it gets cold outside, we turn on all our heaters, and now warm air reaches every corner of your home, including up into an attic space which can lead to mold or mildew problems due to humidity buildup there’s not enough ventilation.
To prevent this from happening, ensure proper insulation is installed with good airflow throughout.
In some instances, you may just need to beef up your existing insulation. Here’s a video on some easy ways to do it.
Proper ventilation will allow the warm air to escape and reduce the amount of warm air that comes into contact with your cold roof.
How to see if you have adequate ventilation:
During the first freeze, go up to your attic and feel for cold air coming in. If you can feel any sort of draft, that means you need more insulation or better ventilation to the outside.
Or, you can look at the exterior of your roof for condensation or accumulating moisture.
When doing this, ensure all of your vents are clean and open. If they are open and clean, and your roof still shows signs of condensation, then you may need to add more ventilation to the exterior of your home.
Louisiana winters tend to be cold and rainy.
You know the pattern: a couple of cold days, followed by some warm days, then a rainy day (or two), and the cycle repeats.
Here’s the winter weather forecast for 2021-2022, note Louisiana.
Cold and wet…
Storms are expected during the winter, and with storms comes the wind. It’s best if you check your roof for leaks after such storms.
Another thing to check for following storms is hail damage. Even though golf ball-sized hail may seem harmless, it can damage your roof in minutes.
It’s essential to know how hail affects your roof so that you can manage the damage after it happens.
Hailstorms occur in south Louisiana regularly and without notice! During these storms, there’s no time for preparation.
How does hail affect a shingled roof?
During a hailstorm, hailstones can damage your roof in 3 different ways.
Impacts: Hailstones fly at high speeds and hit your shingles, causing an indentation. When this happens, the shingle’s integrity is compromised, and you can expect to lose pieces of your roof over time.
Stress Cracks: If the impact is hard enough, it can cause a stress crack in your shingle. This is where the shingle begins to split in two different directions due to the force of impact.
This causes further damage to the shingle and can lead to leaks if the crack reaches the edge of your roof.
Chips: Hail can also chip your shingles, causing smaller pieces to fall off. If this happens, there’s a high likelihood that you will need to replace more than just that one piece.
If you’re in an area where hailstorms are common, it’s best to have a professional roofing company install extra-durable materials that will withstand the impact of hailstones.
If you need roof repairs after hail damage, contact Better Built Contractors for assistance.
Sleet And Ice Buildup
Another issue that arises during the winter months is sleet or ice buildup. It’s not usually an issue in south Louisiana, but it can happen nonetheless.
Although sleet is smaller than hail, the damage could be just as bad if enough of it builds up on your roof. Sleet buildup can warp the shape of your roof, and shingles to become loose or even fall off.
If You Suspect Winter Damage To Your Roof:
You can deal with roof damage by yourself if you’re confident enough, but it’s best to consult a roofing professional. The first step you should do is get a roof inspection.
Better Built Contractors are experts in roof damage due to winter weather, and we’re located right near Baton Rouge.
How to Prevent Winter Damage To Your Roof
One of the easiest ways to prevent winter damage to your roof is by installing high-quality roofing materials. roof maintenance is another easy solution, as it contains a few simple steps
Shingle Roof Maintenance:
- Inspect your shingles and repair the damages immediately.
- Check your gutters before the winter starts to remove any debris that has built up over time.
- Make sure your shingles are secure. If there are any loose or missing pieces, repairing them will save you the hassle of installing a whole new roof.
If you have any concerns about your roof, have it looked at by a roofing contractor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about winter weather and shingle roof damage.