Cold in the winter, warm in the summer, snow, sun, lots of rain – does all this weather affect your roof? Absolutely! The variations in temperature in the Oakland County, Michigan area can cause many materials to warp, buckle, crack, or shrink. Here at Lake Orion Roofing, we recommend asphalt shingles for several reasons, most of all for the durability of the materials under Michigan weather. The weather conditions we experience here in Lake Orion vary throughout the year, and asphalt stands up well under all of them without succumbing to damage like other materials.
Let’s take a look at the historical weather patterns of the Lake Orion area and discuss how these conditions, temperatures, and changes can affect your roof and what to look for when you’re performing your yearly or seasonal inspection of your home’s roof.
Even though the calendar may say Spring comes in March, Michigan likes to wait until around mid-April before the weather even starts to think about letting Spring show up. In March, Lake Orion is still likely to have snow for half a month, around 5 inches overall, with nights still below the freezing mark. Though there’s still a slight chance we’ll get snow during the beginning of April, most nights reach an average temperature of above freezing, and highs during the day are around mid-50’s. May is about 10 degrees warmer both during the day and night, bringing summer by the end of the month.
Temperatures in the spring won’t have a strong effect on your roof. With the temperatures above freezing but not a large variation between day and night temperatures, the expansion and contraction of the wood should be minimal, and the materials nailed on top should stay in place well. If we get days where the days are warmer or the nights colder than average, look for gaps around the flashing and drip edges.
The average rainfall for the spring months is about 3 inches a month, which compared to other locales isn’t much, but when you still are dealing with shaded wet areas from melted snow, that amount is plenty. While soggy ground and foundations are more of a concern during melting snowfalls, keep an eye on any areas on your roof where the sun doesn’t reach and the snow still stands long after the ground is clear of it. Check the areas in your attic under that spot to ensure that the excessive moisture isn’t leaking inside your house.
Because of Michigan’s geographical location, the summers usually have lower 80’s for a high during the day, and upper 50’s to lower 60’s for a low at night. Asphalt roofing performs well in these temperatures, keeping the risk of melting or cracking at an absolute minimum. If it were just sunshine all day, your roof would have pretty consistent weather to stand through. But in Oakland County, we tend to get summer storms just about every day. Keep your trees trimmed away from your roof as much as possible to minimize damage from falling tree branches during strong storms.
Another issue in the summer can be fluctuations in temperature from hot to cool, which can cause metal contractions and expansions. While the shingles are overlaid to offset this potential expansion and contraction, there are still areas that need to be monitored, particularly around the flashing and any roof caps. Because of the large buckets of rain that fall on your roof, as well as the possibility of shifting materials, summer is an important season to check for wet or damp areas along your rafters or attic walls.
While we really love it here all year long, Autumn may be the best season in Lake Orion, Michigan. The daytime temperature usually hovers between 60-70 degrees in September and October, the leaves are colorful, and the short rain showers bring a delightfully crisp air. By November, we’re already getting the first snowfall of the year, with nighttime temperatures dipping below freezing.
The main concern that autumn brings involves any trees that are in the area. Make sure your gutters are consistently cleared out to make way for rain to properly drain off your roof. Make sure excessive leaf litter doesn’t pile up on top of your home. Get any repairs and replacements done before that first snowfall shows up at the door. Once winter comes, your roof will need all the support it can get.
Most of us here at Lake Orion Roofing walked to school in the snow when we were younger, so we know that Winter in Oakland County is the toughest season for your roof. With an average of 19 days of snow in December, another 24 in January, and another 19 in February, your roof is under a lot of weight. Not only does it snow, but it snows a lot. Those three months see an average of 8-13 inches per month of heavy snow. And in January, the high rarely makes it out of the freezing mark during the day. Needless to say, inspections, repairs, and replacements for your roof should be completed before Winter approaches the area.
Besides the weight of the snow on the top of your house, the snow itself can damage areas of the roof. When the interior of your house gets heated, that heat rises to the top. The snow on top of the house may melt, either slightly or completely, but since temperatures away from your roof are still under 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the snow will refreeze. The refreeze usually happens along the eaves or the edges of your roof, or in your gutters. Not only can this strip roof materials, but it can also cause ice dams or blockages and keep the snow from draining properly.
Here at Lake Orion Roofing, we cannot stress enough the importance of checking for leaks after major snowstorms. If you suspect there may be a leak or would like a professional inspection to make sure damage hasn’t occurred, give us a call at 248-393-0055 or contact us online today. We will be there for you in all weather and keep your Oakland County home covered.