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The 5 Most Common Roofing Issues in Wisconsin and How to Solve Them

November 5, 2021 | 4 min. read

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Wisconsin: the land of beer and cheese. Wisconsin may be famous for its beverage of choice, but there are also some other classic Wisco things like extremely harsh winter weather. 

Whether you live in Wisconsin or another part of the country that experiences a lot of snowfall, you should be familiar with the amount of wear and tear your roof endures during the winter. 

If you don’t anticipate winter roofing issues, they can result in costly repairs. You have already taken the first step to avoiding them by educating yourself on the potential issues winter brings.

Rescue My Roof has spent a decade roofing in harsh winter temps, and we’ve worked with hundreds of clients who have sustained damage to their roofs in the winter. We’re here to help you avoid what they couldn’t by showing you the issues to anticipate in the winter.

By the end of this article, you will know exactly what to expect when the temperatures drop and how to solve any potential winter roofing issues. 

1. Ice Dams

Ice dams are the main culprit of winter roofing issues, and they are an issue you must watch out for on your roof.

In the winter, ice and snow at the peak of your roof melts and refreezes at the base of your roof. Over time, the ice at the base of your roof will accumulate and begin to cause issues.

With ice dams, you are at risk for leaks, clogged gutters, and shingle damage. As the ice creeps its way up your roof, it can begin to pry up shingles, resulting in the issues mentioned above.

The best way to avoid ice dams is by taking preventative measures. Before the cold weather arrives, inspect your ventilation by doing an energy audit.

During an energy audit, you can use a thermal camera to identify extreme cold or hot spots in your attic space, leading you to add more ventilation.

Additionally, during an energy audit, you can seal up air leaks that cause drafts and make sure your insulation is not blocking intake or exhaust vents.

By conducting an energy audit, you ensure your roof is ready to handle the harsh weather that winter brings. 

2. Icicles

If you’re a fan of Hallmark movies and winter vibes, there’s probably a soft spot in your heart for icicles. They can add that winter magic to a home that makes your heart warm.

However, even if they add a little winter pizazz to your home, it does not mean they are safe.

Icicles can pose a safety risk to pets and family. Additionally, the added weight to your fascia and gutters can pull your gutters away from the home and cause drooping.

After that happens, when all of the icicles and ice melts in your gutters, it will not drain properly. This can lead to clogged and overflowing gutters and leaking issues at the foundation of your home. 

If you are experiencing issues with excessive icicles in the winter, it is probably a result of clogged gutters or poor ventilation. Call out a roof inspector to accurately diagnose the issue. If the issue is not accurately diagnosed the first time, you may end up spending more on repairs. 

3. Flashing Leaks

Flashing is typically placed around areas of your roof where there are penetrations, like chimneys or ventilation.

If the flashing is installed incorrectly, during the winter it can begin to pull away from your roofing material, leading to leaks. 

The best way to avoid these issues is through prevention. Finding a reputable roofing contractor to install your roofing system will decrease the likelihood of experiencing workmanship problems. 

However, another option is to inspect your flashing every six months to look for signs of leaks. 

4. Tree Limbs

Trees on your property can add beautiful scenery throughout the year. However, when trees are close to your property, they can cause some unexpected roofing issues. 

Tree limbs hanging too close to the roof can cause several issues such as algae or damaged shingles. 

Tree limbs can blow in the wind and scrape against your shingles, causing premature granule loss. This decreases the effectiveness of the shingles being able to keep the elements out of your home. 

To avoid this issue, trim away any tree branches that come within six feet of your roof. 

5. Strong Winds

Wisconsin is no stranger to strong winds, but they can definitely do some wear and tear on your roof. Without adequate methods of maintaining your roof’s integrity, you may begin to see issues like shingle loss. 

Over time, strong winds can loosen and even blow off shingles. Shingles are essential, as they are the protective layer on the top of your roof. If you are missing a section of them, that leaves your roof vulnerable to leaks.

Inspect your roof before and after winter. If you notice any areas of shingle loss, contact a roofing professional immediately for a repair. 

The longer you wait, the more likely it is for you to see leaks on your roof. So call a roofing contractor as soon as you notice the issue to keep your roof and home in tip-top shape. 

How to Resolve Common Roofing Issues

While these issues are prevalent in Wisconsin due to our wonderful winter weather, these issues can occur anywhere in the country.

Whether or not you live in Wisconsin, your roof is susceptible to issues like ice dams and tree limb damage. That is why it is recommended that you:

  • Do frequent roof inspections (at least twice a year)
  • Inspect your roof flashing
  • Do energy audits to ensure proper roof ventilation
  • Call in a roofing professional if you notice any drastic issues like shingle loss

By following these methods, you will keep your roof in the best shape possible year round, and avoid those nasty and tricky problems that pop up during the winter.

Continue expanding your roofing knowledge with our articles, “Is There A ‘Best’ Time of Year to Install a New Roof” and “10 Signs You Need a Roof Replacement.”

If you live in the greater Milwaukee area and have experienced these tricky winter roofing issues- don’t fret. Contact Rescue My Roof today to get a free estimate and begin your roofing journey.