Is there snow on your roof and it's leaking in Columbus

Why is my snow-covered roof leaking?


Is there snow on your roof and it's leaking in Columbus. If the weather outside is between 25F-30F, accompanied by deep snow, and  water has just started to come into your home, look outside and see if  there are icicles forming in the general area where this leaking is  occurring. If so, there is a strong possibility you have ice damming. Although this causes minimal damage to your roof, the water can certainly damage drywall and other interior furnishings. In addition, insulation can lose its insulative properties when it gets wet.  Ice damming is caused by uneven roof temperatures. The weather outside needs to be cold enough for water to freeze and warm enough for attic  heat or the sun to melt the snow. The warm area of the roof will melt  the snow and the cold area refreezes-creating ice. When this ice builds up, it creates an ice dam. When the normal flow of water is impeded by an ice dam, a normally functioning roof will begin to leak. This tends to be exacerbated by sunshine, poor insulation, or poor ventilation. Sunshine warms the roof surface through the snow and the melted snow then runs down into the cold gutter and it refreezes. Poor ventilation won't allow the outside air to flow across the roof and underneath the shingles, creating uneven temperatures. Proper insulation prevents warm attic air from melting the snow and then refreezing when the water runs down to a colder area. here's what to do about ice damming in Columbus

What can you do about unwanted water coming into your house?


 A short-term solution would be to remove the ice and snow from your roof. Shoveling from the roof can be very dangerous, however, this can be done with a pull shovel (a  snow shovel that can pull snow off the roof from the ground). This item  is not usually stocked at your local hardware store. If your roof is  ice damming, there is a good chance other people’s roofs are doing the  same, putting these shovels in short supply. Once the snow is off your roof, you will still have the ice to deal with. Unfortunately, ice cannot be removed safely from the ground. This  will involve the use of a pry bar. The goal is to get the pry bar  between the roof and ice then lift. The use of a hammer will generally  lead to shingle and gutter damage. 

How can I prevent ice dams?



Some advocate the use of heated tape to warm the cold spots as an  economical short-term solution. However, most heat tapes have a one-year  warranty and ice damming conditions in this region occur less  frequently than once each year. Additionally, you’re reminded to turn the heat tape back on only after you notice leaking. These tapes also use a fair amount of electricity and if you leave them on, they will burn out once the snow has melted. If  you are willing to invest more money, there is a control unit available  that detects ice damming conditions and switches the system on and off  accordingly.

Another option is to shovel the snow off your roof before ice damming occurs, of course this assumes that you still have energy after shoveling your driveway. 

A more permanent solution for this problem is to remove the bottom  few rows of shingles from the gutter line and install an ice and weather  shield directly on to the roof sheathing, then install new shingles  over the area. Often time due to the sun fading the old shingles, the  new shingle won't be a perfect match. The ideal time to install ice dam protection is when installing a new roof.


How does ice and weather shield work?


Ice and weather shield is a rubberized membrane that adheres to the  roof like strong tape and then seals where nails fasten shingles. It   does not prevent ice damming from occurring, but it prevents water from  leaking into the structure. Roofs are designed solely on the principle  that water will run down. Individual shingles are 12” tall  and overlap 7", allowing the shingle above it to carry the water across  the remaining 5” of exposed shingle. Roofs are pitched, making the actual elevation of the overlap significantly less. When ice builds up, the water only needs to be an inch deep in order to go through the shingle overlap, creating a leak. Ice and weather shield catches the water beneath the shingles, preventing water from entering the home.

In 2005, the City of Columbus began requiring permits to install roofs. As part of this permit process, they required the use of ice and weather shield. Bexley, Delaware, and Whitehall followed suit with an ice guard requirement. Roofs installed prior to 2005 did not routinely have this product. Therefore,  most did not meet the new code, which requires the membrane to cover  from the gutter up to 24” inside the heated wall and behind the gutter. Since the material is 36” wide, an overhang of 6” or more will require a second row of ice guard. 

For those of you who enjoy math, this means that: 24”  inside the wall, 4” thickness of the wall, 1” in the gutter, 6” of  soffit (exterior unheated ceilings) and a minimum of 1” lost due to roof  slope, more is lost on steeper pitches.

Some roofers aren’t aware that a second row is needed, and don’t install the product correctly. There  are many roofers that install the product over the drip edge, allowing  water to enter between the gutter and the fascia (the board behind the  gutter). Unfortunately, there is no follow-up from the City  of Columbus to assure the product is installed correctly. This task is  left to the integrity of the roofing contractor, or the diligence of the  property owner.  Ask your contractor about their familiarity with Ice  & Weather shield codes.