How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof

Rain and hailstorms can bring their own type of damages to roofs, but snow and ice can also cause some major damage. This winter you’ll want to keep an eye on all elements of your roofing system in order to detect small problems before they become big headaches.

Added Weight Strain

While rain adds some weight to your roof, it simply rolls off. Snow and ice do not slide off easily (and may remain on the roof for long periods of time) causing surfaces to become wetter and heavier. In a worst-case scenario, the excess accumulated weight could cause part of your roof to cave in during winter. Since your roof is not visible under the snow and ice, look for signs of roof stress inside your home such as tiles pulling away from the ceiling or roof leaks. If you detect signs of stress, it is recommended you contact a structural engineer to conduct an assessment.

Freeze and Thaw Cycles

Freeze and thaw cycles are dangerous for your roof because water will seep into roof cracks and then these cracks will expand when the water freezes, making the crack a little wider. This cycle can damage your roof, your home’s interior, and potentially introduce mold and mildew into your living spaces.

Ice Damsand Icicles

Ice dams occur when ice and snow melt but freeze up again before fully sliding off your roof. This situation creates standing water and prevents proper runoff, making it harder for the roof to stay clear, which can result in serious water damage. Homes with poorly ventilated attics may have areas of their roof where some snow melts due to a warm interior space below, while snow and ice may remain frozen at the roof’s edges. Icicles might look beautiful, but they are usually signs of roof and gutter damage. They are also extremely heavy and may injure someone walking under them. Gutters clogged with leaves, dirt, and debris encourage the formation of icicles.

Snow Removal:  Don’t DIY!

Although not a common scenario, heavy snowfall does have the potential to cause a roofing collapse if not promptly removed. However, this is not a job for you and your shovel or a bag of chemicals. Rooftop snow removal is a dangerous procedure and is best handled by a professional roofing contractor.

Preventing Winter Roof Damage

Proper maintenance paired with regular roof and gutter inspections are your best lines of defense against winter roof damage. If you detect any roof damage during the winter, it should be immediately addressed to avoid potentially catastrophic damage and high repair costs. If you have questions about winter roof damage or any other roofing questions, contact Reset Roofingtoday!

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