Managing Midwinter Leaks

Playing in the snow, skating on an icy pond, or curling up in front of a warm fire are some of the activities that people love to engage in during the winter months. Fixing a water leak? Not so much.

The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to wait until the spring thaw to stop the moisture from entering and damaging your home. Here’s what to do to get rid of that leak.

Midwinter leaks
Midwinter water leaks are never good!

Where’s the Leak?

The first step you must take is to find out the exact source of the leak. After all, there’s a good chance that the problem may not originate in the exterior of your home.

The leak may be coming from an interior pipe which may have cracked, loosened, or frozen. In these cases, patching or replacing the faulty pipe would be all that is necessary to eliminate the moisture. Also, the heater or air conditioner in your attic might be allowing water to escape from the housing and drip into your home, in which case you would need to contact an HVAC specialist to take care of the issue.

That (Ice) Dam Leak!

However, it’s quite possible that the water may be coming into your home from the outside. In the winter months, one of the most common leakage issues comes from ice dams, which are sheets of ice that form at the roofline and/or inside your gutters.

Over time, the ice formation can wedge itself underneath shingles and soffits, and when the dam melts, the water invades your home. There’s no simple way to get rid of ice dams other than to carefully chip the ice away with an awl or mallet. Calcium chloride or heat from a blow dryer may also assist you in melting the ice dam.

Midwinter leaks
If you see large icicles on your gutters, chances are good that there’s an ice dam on your roof.

Flashing Through the Snow

Another frequent entry point for water is where metal flashing is installed, such as around roof vents, vent boots, chimneys, pipes, or other walls. This aluminum flashing can rust, break, blow off, or be pried loose by water runoff or ice dams. Generally speaking, repairing this problem involves removing the leaking flashing, cutting a new piece from an aluminum sheet, and securing it over the leaky areas with caulk and/or nails.

Is the Leak Coming From a Shingle Spot?

If you think moisture may be coming into your home due to a broken, cracked, or missing shingle on your roof, then you might have to climb onto your roof to fix it. Ideally, you would want to replace the problem shingle and perhaps those around it. But for a quick fix, you can use roofing tar or roofing cement to seal the leak.

It’s OK to Ask For Help

But unless you have roofing experience, you’re better off calling a roofing professional to repair (or replace) your roof. Contrary to popular belief, roofing work can be done in the winter months.

In fact, you’re more likely to receive prompter service because winter is the slow season for roofing companies. However, it should be noted that roofers cannot replace shingles if the outdoor temperature is less than 26 degrees Fahrenheit, because the shingle material and sealants are more likely to fail.

Midwinter leaks
Nobody likes to be outside working in sub-freezing temperatures.

How To Keep Leaks from Making a Return Visit

Once you do find and fix your leak, it’s important to try to keep the problem from happening again. To ward off ice dams, consider installing heated cables on your roofline. Also, it’s wise to insulate your attic and make sure your roof is airtight; this will help stop the freezing and melting cycle that produces ice dams. If your repair job is not designed to be permanent, go ahead and start the process of scheduling a roof repair or replacement when the spring rolls around.

If the leak occurred in or around your gutters, it may be time for a gutter replacement. Harry Helmet has been replacing gutters for its customers for over forty years. So if you want the peace of mind of having your gutter replacement completed by an experienced professional, contact Harry Helmet today for a free, on-site estimate.

Written by Del Thebaud

Spring Savings!
50% OFF Installation
+ no money down, no interest up to 18 months† | Hurry, Offer Ends 4/30/2024
I authorize Lednor Home Solutions to contact me about our products via phone, email, or text. You also understand we use an autodialing phone system, and my consent is not required to obtain a free estimate - I can call 888-543-5638 instead. We will never share your personal information with 3rd parties for marketing purposes or spam you. You can opt out at any time. Message/data rates apply. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Terms | Privacy Policy


1 Million+ Satisfied Customers Nationwide

I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet just replaced our roof and we could not be more satisfied. The crew showed up early, worked all day and stayed late, were professional and caring regarding the project and the surrounding impact it had on our property and home. They completed the roof quickly and it looks simply amazing!
VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.

50% OFF Installation

We work hard with each manufacturer to offer our customers the best promotions monthly.

Find a Location

Serving a Location Near You


Join the Lednor Home Solutions Family

We're seeking fun, outgoing, and confident individuals who enjoy winning to join our team. Lednor Home Solutions is an equal opportunity employer and we operate a safety first & drug-free workplace focused on employee safety. Great pay and benefits, apply today!