The change of seasons in southeastern Pennsylvania can be a wonderful time, providing us with beautiful scenery to enjoy during the day and cozy evenings with family and friends at home. Changing temperatures, however, are not always as easy on our roofs and windows which, if not properly maintained, can succumb to damage.

While heat brings its own potential for roof and window problems, dropping temperatures can also be a cause for concern. Here are two of the biggest factors to be aware of as the weather changes to chillier conditions this fall and winter:

  1. Thermal Shock.

    Thermal shock is a term used to describe how changing temperatures affect different materials. Heat generally makes things expand, and cold condenses. This means that in the summer, the materials that make up your roof and window systems expand, and as winter approaches they constrict.

    The change from expansion to constriction can cause issues. For roofs, this can mean that seams, joints, and roofing materials can crack, tear, or be loosened. If that happens, clearly you are at risk for leakage and other problems.

    When it comes to your windows, the stress caused by thermal shock can lead to cracks, especially if there is already an imperfection in the glass. Even if your windows look like they are in perfect shape, a small imperfection on the edge of the glass that is hidden from view by the frame can be a point of weakness for a crack to form or worsen with the next shift in temperature.
  2. Ice Damage.

    As winter approaches and snow and ice start to accumulate, a number of issues can arise. On a roof, ice damns can block the flow of precipitation, clogging gutters and downspouts. However they can also lead to another problem: if thermal shock has caused any cracks, tears, or loosening in the joints or seams of your roof, when the ice melts you could suddenly be faced with significant leaking.

A similar problem can occur with windows. If they are damaged, either by thermal shock, aging, or any other factor, ice can make matters worse. In addition to possibly widening any existing fissures, ice as it melts will turn into water that can seep through cracks or separations, causing water damage to the interior of your home.

Thermal shock and ice damage are two of the most significant factors that can cause problems for windows and roofs in colder months. Talk with a trusted window and roofing professional today to help you assess the condition of your windows and roof, and learn how to maintain them throughout the year.

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