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roofing for cold climatesOne of the most important things in life is a “roof over your head,” but it’s not uncommon for homeowners to forget all about this essential part of a well-kept home. Depending on the roofing material used on your home, you might not need to worry about replacement for several decades. A little “TLC” goes a long way in making sure you don’t need to replace your roof any sooner than is necessary.

Whether you’re planning to get an entirely new roof or whether you’re trying to patch up some holes, investigating energy-efficient roofing, cold roofs, hot roofs, and environmentally-friendly materials are essential steps in reducing your energy bills and costs and improving the efficiency of your home’s heating system. Choosing a long-lasting roof also helps reduce the costs of maintaining and replacing that roof down the road.

According to the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC):

Of all the building components, the roof system faces some of the most severe challenges. In cold climates, a roof must be properly sized, well sealed, energy efficient, and perform reliably under the extremes of each season.

One of the reasons why regulating temperatures in the winter is such a difficult task is because of something called the “stack effect.” This issue occurs when warm air that rises inside the home tries to make its way out and cold air from the outside is forced into the home through the bottom of the structure.

Winter Roof Design Tips

In addition to the craftsmanship and quality of your roofing contractor, you’ll need to consider the best ways to design a roof that’s tailored to a winter climate. According to Forbes, a simple roof is the best way to avoid problems like ice accumulation and buildup of pine needles along the bends in the roof. A simple roof makes it easier to avoid the buildup of snow.

Additionally, it’s best to add features like skylights, chimneys and gables with care. Features like skylights are a great green feature to include in your home to reduce your family’s reliance on artificial lighting, but they’re also a place in your roof that could represent heat loss.

Forbes also recommends a metal roof for many reasons:

It’s the most durable option, sheds snow with ease and rarely springs a leak. Asphalt shingles also stand up well in harsh winters and are less costly to repair than wood or slate shingles.

With proper care, a metal roof may last many years longer than a traditional asphalt roof. However, it’s important to be aware of the snow that could build up around your home’s exterior. It’s important to make sure that the roof is large enough that any snow that falls to the ground doesn’t prevent access to the home.

Other Energy-Efficient Renovation Options

The Department of Energy (DOE) offers some advice to homeowners who want to reduce the temperature imbalances that may occur during the winter in a drafty home. Inspecting the thermal boundary of the home may save a significant amount of money in heating and cooling costs.

The DOE suggests:

Sealing and insulating-done by a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor-can save more than $200 a year in heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on total annual energy bills). It will also make your home more comfortable and help your heating and cooling system run more efficiently.

If your home is leaky and drafty, your contractor has tools that can find the leaks around your home so that they can be sealed or repaired before winter descends.

Need a New Roof?

Want to discuss your roofing options? Contact Builders & Remodelers today for a free consultation and information on how you can use a new roof to add value and safety to your home.