How Snow & Ice Can Impact Your Roof

winter homeYou may know it’s important to remove snow and ice from your roof, but do you know why? If you don’t remove snow and ice promptly, it could compromise your roofing system and shorten the lifespan of your roof. Here’s how it happens and what you can do to prevent roof damage in winter.

Ice Dams

If ice builds up at the edge of your roof in what’s known as an ice dam, it can compromise your gutters and your roofing system. Heavy icicles can tear the gutters away from your home, leaving you with a hefty repair bill come spring.

Excess Weight

During cold winters, when snow doesn’t melt quickly, snow and ice may remain on the roof for long periods of time. While roofs are constructed to bear heavy loads, over time the weight does stress the roofing system. In a worst-case scenario, the excess weight could cause part of your roof to cave in during winter.

Freeze and Thaw Cycles

Freeze and thaw cycles are dangerous for your roof. Cracks in the roof may develop due to the cyclic temperature changes. If this happens, water will seep into the cracks. The cracks can expand during freeze and thaw cycles, when water freezes inside the crack. As you can imagine, this becomes a dangerous situation for your roof, because leaking water will damage your roof, your home, and potentially introduce mold and mildew into your home.

How to Prevent Winter Roof Damage

The best way to prevent roof damage in winter is to perform periodic maintenance in fall. By cleaning out your gutters after the fall leaf drop, you make sure melting snow has a safe path off the roof. This may prevent ice dams from forming.

Inspecting the roof in fall will let you know if there are any damaged shingles that should be repaired or replaced before winter. By making repairs before the temperatures drop, you can protect your roof — and your home — from structural, health, and safety issues caused by snow and ice.

Contact us for a free roofing estimate.