How Steel Metal Roofing Performs in the Canadian Winter
- On November 5, 2022
Choosing the right roofing material is critical to protecting your home from weather damage. Homeowners in areas that experience below-freezing temperatures and frequent snowfall need to be especially aware of how different roofing materials perform in winter weather. This is why so many Canadians choose metal roofing materials for their homes.
Of course, no roofing material is completely immune to weather damage. Even metal roofing materials can be damaged by high winds or hail. However, as long as it’s properly installed and maintained, metal roofing materials can last for decades. With that in mind, the following guide offers solutions to common winter weatherproofing issues for metal roofs.
Moisture Barriers Are a Top Priority
When snow that gathers on the roof melts, it can seep underneath the roof and cause leaks. Although having a metal roof can help reduce the risk of leaks because metal roofing materials are impervious to water, it’s still important to take measures to prevent moisture from getting under the roof.
One of the best ways to do that is to ensure your roof has a moisture barrier. A moisture barrier is a material that prevents water from passing through, and it’s typically installed under the metal panels. Some of the common materials used for moisture barriers include felt paper and asphalt-coated fibreglass.
What Are Ice Dams?
An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of a roof, and it can cause serious damage if it melts and leaks into your home. Ice dams form when heat escapes your home and melts the snow on your roof. The water then runs down to the edge of the roof, where it freezes again. This causes a build-up of ice that can eventually dam up the flow of water, causing it to back up and leak into your home.
How to Prevent Ice Damming
Preventing ice damming is essential to preserving the integrity of your metal roofing materials and preventing potential leaks. There are a few different ways you can do this:
Seal Any Air Leaks
One of the best ways to prevent ice dams is to ensure your home is well-sealed. Any air leaks around windows, doors, and other openings can let heat escape, which can then melt the snow on your roof and cause ice dams to form. By sealing these air leaks, you can help prevent this from happening.
Insulation refers to any material that prevents heat from escaping, such as fibreglass, cellulose, and foam. Many older homes do not have proper insulation, which can contribute to ice dam formation. If your attic isn’t properly insulated, heat can escape from your home and melt the snow on your roof, causing ice dams to form.
Finally, it’s important to ensure your attic is properly ventilated. Without proper ventilation, the heat produced by your home will rise up into your attic, where it will stay. As a result, the temperature in your attic will be significantly warmer than outside, which can melt the snow and form ice dams. By ventilating your attic, you can dissipate the heat and prevent this from happening.
Know About Weathertightness
One of the most important aspects of a roof is its ability to keep the weather out. This is known as weathertightness. A roof that is not weathertight can leak, allowing water to enter your home and causing damage to your property. Metal roofs are one of the most weathertight roofing options available, as long as the metal roofing panels are properly installed and maintained.
Common Causes of Weathertightness Issues
It helps to understand the most common causes of weather tightness issues to identify and fix them quickly if they occur. With that in mind, the following are common causes of weather tightness issues with metal roofs:
Improper Fastening During Installation
If the metal roofing panels are not properly fastened during installation, they can loosen over time and allow water to enter your home. The correct fasteners must be used and installed correctly to prevent this issue.
Using Sealants Incorrectly
Many roofing contractors will apply a sealant to the roof during installation. Sealants can be very effective at preventing water infiltration, but they must be applied correctly. If the sealant is not applied evenly or does not extend far enough up the roof, it can leave gaps that allow water to enter your home.
Improper installation of Vents, Skylights, and Other Roofing Features
It’s important to ensure that all vents, skylights, and other roofing features are installed correctly. If they’re not, they can create gaps that allow water to enter your home. Make sure that any roofing contractor you hire is experienced in installing these features correctly.
How Fasteners Affect Performance
Fasteners are any type of hardware, such as nails or screws, used to secure two pieces of material together. In the case of metal roofs, fasteners are used to secure the metal roofing panels to the roof’s underlying structure. If fasteners are used incorrectly, the roof can become more susceptible to water penetration and wind uplift.
To ensure that your fasteners are properly installed, your roofer will follow these tips:
Overdriving occurs when the fastener is driven too deeply into the roof, which can strip your fasteners and cause the washers beneath them to become exposed to UV rays and potential water damage. This can lead to degradation over time. Overdriving can also decrease the ability of the metal to flex with changing temperatures.
Underdriving occurs when the fastener is driven too shallowly into the roof, which can cause it to loosen over time and allow water to leak through your roof.
When driving the fastener into the roof, angle it so that it is driven perpendicular to the roof’s surface so that it’s not off-centre. If the fastener is driven in at an incorrect angle, it will make it easier for wind and water to enter your roof.
Let the drill bit make initial contact with the fastener in a natural way instead of forcing it down. Forcing the fasteners in by stabbing with the drill can cause them to go in at an incorrect angle as well.
Consider Our Tuscany Metal Roofing Panels for Your Home
Although there are several ways to protect your roof against the harsh effects of winter, installing a high-quality metal roof is the best way to ensure that it will last for years to come. Our Tuscany metal roofing panels are durable, resilient, and require little maintenance, making them the perfect option for Canadian homeowners. We provide a fully transferable 50-year warranty on all of our roof installations.
Get Safe & Durable Installation with Our Metal Roofing
Protect your home today by installing a metal roof. Fill out our form online at Ironclad Roofs to request a free estimate, or call us at 905-752-4685 for more information about our metal roofing panels. We have over 25 years of experience in the roofing industry and have installed thousands of roofs in the Toronto area.