Guest post by Brie Ries, Production Manager at Elite Roofing Colorado
On March 23rd, 2016 the Denver metro area experienced a blizzard that dropped up to 27” of snow in some areas and shut the City down for 2 days. This storm produced sustained wind speeds of 30-45MPH and 2” of water for every 6” of snow. It was wet and it was heavy and most of us Coloradan’s stayed safely tucked in our homes. Those who didn’t found themselves stuck in traffic for 4-6 hours. I myself choose to stay locked inside my home for 2 days working from my kitchen counter. However, upon arrival back to work the calls began flooding in with reports of roof leaks. Call after call. So I scheduled our top repair technician to take a look at these leaks and we discovered the roofing systems were not failing at all. No leaks from ice dammed valleys or water flooded penetrations as we would have expected with this heavy snow. Instead, just piles of snow that had accumulated in the attics through the static vents (Turtle & Slantback).
A few of the attics had vents installed improperly, causing some of the exhaust vents to act as intake vents, sucking in the snow. The snow then melted from the heat of the home, soaked through the insulation and then into the ceiling/drywall. Other homes had proper ventilation but due to the severity of the blizzard and what we like to call an “Act of God,” snow in large amounts was also being driven into the attics via the static vents. In cases where the ventilation was improperly installed we recommended repairs to properly ventilate the attics, but in the other cases there was nothing we could do. The chances of this perfect storm happening again and producing the same result is slim. Most home owners called their insurance companies to make a claim and mitigation companies to handle the water damage, which in some cases was significant. It made for an interesting and somewhat stressful week of work but most importantly taught me so much more about ventilation and the importance of properly ventilating a home.