How winter Can Impact Your Roof

Between summer rainstorms and winter snowfall, your roof can experience quite a beating year after year. Replacing a roof is no cheap task. Ensuring your roof is secure before moisture has a chance to make its way in, will help keep your roof protected.

Damage caused by summer storms may be minimal as long your roof is properly maintained. Winter storms can be a little more hazardous. Snow build up can cause roof blisters, cracks, trapped water, and buckling due to excess weight.

If you live in an area where repeated snowfall is expected, clearing the snow between storms is important. Warm outside weather and the heat from inside your home causes snow to melt. If it has nowhere to go, when weather cools again the water freezes back to ice. Clogged gutters means icicles will form due to lack of an escape route any meltfed ice. If you see icicles forming on the edges of your roof, you can be sure you’ve got ice dams too. Calling a professional may be the best bet to remove dangerous snow and ice.

Snow build up can overload your roof’s weight tolerance. On an average sized roof, just two feet of snow can add nearly 40,000 extra pounds of weight. Repeated build up of this type of weight winter after winter will weaken the integrity of your roof. Roof buckling and cracking is a serious consequence of this added weight. Areas on the roof can break down, essentially opening a floodgate for water damage in the interior of your home. Your entire roof can buckle if there is enough weight bearing down on it, causing extensive damage and harm, not to mention the need for a complete roof replacement in the middle of winter.

Blisters and fissures are also cause for worry when snow builds up on the roof. Small pre-existing cracks can become larger by melted snow seeping in and refreezing. Small leaks now become major openings, allowing water damage to spread to the internal structure of the home. Over time this water damage can promote mold growth. Similar to fissures, blisters are particular to flat roofs. They form mostly when melted snow seeps under the surface layer of the roof, then expands when weather warms again.

Using a roof rake to remove snow between snow falls and winter storms is a good preventive practice to make habit of. Prevention is another key component to keeping your roof safeguarded against the effects snow and ice. As winter approaches, make sure you or a professional gets a good look at your roof. Look for missing, damaged, or curled shingles and replace them at least a few weeks before snowfall sets in. Identify and fill any cracks and fissures in your roof so that melting snow cannot seep in and refreeze. Maybe most importantly, make sure your gutters and downspouts are completely clear of leaves and debris. Clogged gutters are the number one cause of icicles and subsequent ice dams on your roof.