Did Winter Weather Damage Your Barn???s Roof?

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If winter packed a wallop on your barn, you may want to check for roof damage before spring rain wreaks more havoc.

Barn gutter

Look for the warning signs that may indicate you need to call a contractor:

* Shingles missing or damaged: Buckling, cracking or bending shingles should be replaced. If you see multiple rows of lost shingles, it may be time for a new roof. Also look for flashing that appears to be damaged or pulled away from the roof.

* Heavy ice buildup: Did you notice lots of ice on your roof over the winter? Overly warm attics may cause melting and refreezing of snow. This produces heavy ice that can dam up and harm the gutters and the roof. This problem may require ventilation and insulation work in the attic.

* Water stains on roof decking: Go to your attic and check the underside of the roof for water stains and damaged wood. Pay particular attention for stains around pumps, vents and chimneys. Make sure no daylight penetrates through roof cracks and that the roof is completely sealed.

* Loose gutters: If gutters appear loose from the strain of winter ice and snow, repair or replace them. Otherwise, you risk water damage to your barn?s structure.

* Soggy yard: Check the ground around your barn?s perimeter. Excessive water runoff from clogged or damaged gutters can eventually harm foundations.

* Repair costs: Replacing asphalt shingles can run $1.25 per square foot, but using more expensive options (cedar, slate, etc.) can run $4-$8 per square foot. Gutter replacement typically runs $3-$5 per linear foot; fixing flashing on chimneys and skylights costs $300-$500.

Be sure to check your barn?s roof before spring rains damage your hay or affect your horse's health.