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Moisture problems have a trickle-down effect

Sure, those giant icicles looked pretty this winter. And yes, everything seems to be okay despite the ice build-up around your roof.

But more serious issues could be lurking in the most unsuspecting places as moisture caused by that ice damming has infiltrated your home or cottage structure.

The past few winters have seen an increase of inconsistent temperatures with cold days followed by mild days, resulting in constant freeze/thaw events.

This can play havoc on a home, and it all starts at the roof, explains Mike Vettese of GBS Contracting Services.

Those icicles and ice dams (a build-up of ice) can be caused by temperature swings as the air temperature veers up and down from freezing. But they can also be caused by heat loss as warm, moist air escaping the roof hits the cold air.

Unless you get a proper inspection done, you can’t be sure if those icicles and ice dams are pushing moisture back into the building structure.

In some cases, ice dams can cause leaks and drips from a ceiling, but those aren’t the worst. At least with a leak you see the problem and address it.

It’s the unseen damage that is most worrisome says Mike.

“What happens is water gets into the soffit and runs down the wall,” he explains. “Now we’re doing rot repairs around windows and doors and even behind the walls because ice damming has caused the water to trickle down into walls and damage entire buildings.”

So much for those pretty icicles. They’re hiding a dark side that can hit your wallet hard in repairs if the situation isn’t handled in time.

“However, it’s not all doom and gloom,” says Mike. “When we find the issue in time, there are several things we can do that will help address the ice build-up issues. It’s why we recommend regular inspections, at least once a year, to stay ahead of any problems that may arise.”

Relatively inexpensive fixes include adding proper ventilation or bringing insulation above Ontario building code recommended levels.

If the problem has gone on too long, though, a new roof may be needed.

Switch to metal
Mike explains that all shingles will eventually show signs of wear and tear, such as cracks and curling. As each shingle fails, it’s one less layer of protection above your head. And the environment is an unforgiving force to an unprotected home or cottage.

“A shingled roof’s lifespan varies depending on the quality of the shingle and the quality of the installers,” says Mike. “If you’re replacing your shingles, it’s a good time to consider going with a metal roof.”

There are a few metal roofing options. In a traditional style, the metal sheets are attached with nails or screws covered by rubber washers to protect from moisture penetrating the roof.

These are a more affordable metal roof option and the roof itself will last for generations, but it will require a tad more maintenance, as the washers will need replacing every decade or two.

“As well, the exposed fasteners can occasionally get loose due to ice and snow,” says Mike. “But being aware of all these potential issues and keeping on top of them will give you a durable and enduring roof.”

To avoid many of those issues, Mike recommends installing a standing seam roof that has hidden fasteners. The system protects the fasteners from environmental exposure, providing more peace of mind to the property owner and less maintenance required over time.

The standing seam metal roofs also have a cleaner and more stylish appearance, adding to curb appeal and increasing ROI.

Any metal roof is available in an extensive variety of colours, allowing homeowners to choose a tone that matches or accentuates their siding and décor.

Use the experts
Even the very best materials on the planet won’t work as intended if not installed by a qualified, expert team.

GBS Contracting Services has been in business since 1999 and the team are experts at roofing, siding, and more. Their team is fully insured, fully trained, and dedicated, says Mike.

He advises doing your due diligence when hiring contractors, not only for roofing but any work. They will happily provide references and have a strong client base due to their high-quality standards.

“By living and working in the areas we serve, we bring a keen insight to every project,” says Mike. “We understand what our work needs to be to defend against the environmental pressures in our region.”

There is no certainty on what’s coming next winter. Making sure your roofing system is in good shape to prevent ice build-up is the first step in protecting your home or cottage.



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