How Snow And Ice Can Affect Your Roof

7 April 2021
 Categories: , Blog


Winter weather causes heartaches to many homeowners. This is because of the roof damage attributed to some elements of winter weather, particularly snow and ice. Here's a look at some ways snow and ice can affect your roof.

Additional Weight

Rain is different from snow and ice because though it adds some weight to your roof, it quickly flows away. Snow and ice tend to remain on your roof for a longer time. Snow and ice melt and make the roof wet and heavier. This damp weight can result in roof damage. Additional weight on your roof makes it susceptible to leaks. This is because the roof becomes heavier as snow and ice begin to melt. As a result, the snow starts to penetrate your roof.

Additionally, the moisture from the ice and snow accumulates under the shingles, adding more weight. Eventually, your roof may collapse. This problem mainly affects old roofs because they're more susceptible to damage. The best defense against this form of roof damage is to have your roof regularly inspected for signs of wear and tear and replaced before the winter weather sets in. You should also clean your gutters regularly.

Ice Dams

If ice accumulates on your roof, it forms an ice dam. Ice dams are walls of ice that typically form at a roof's gutters. As the name suggests, it's a dam resulting from the water formed when snow or ice melts. The ice dam prevents the water from passing through the gutters. As a result, the water starts moving into your house.

Ice dams form when there's snow on your roof. The dam forms on the area of your roof that's below freezing. Ice dams also form in attics with poor temperature control and ventilation. Heating ducts, skylights, and recessed lighting are other factors that promote ice dams. This result contributes to gutter damage and can destroy the flashing on your roof. 

The best way to prevent ice dams is to have your roof properly vented. A well-ventilated roof prevents heat from accumulating under your roof. Cleaning your gutters before winter can also prevent ice dams.

Freeze-Thaw Cycle

The freeze-thaw cycle is when the temperatures in the air are below freezing and later above freezing, and then back below freezing. You should watch out for this cycle, especially if your roof has small cracks. A roof repair service will fix cracks and other issues to prevent roof damage when winter weather sets in. 

The freeze-thaw cycle can expand cracks on your roof. If snow settles on your roof and later starts to melt, the melted snow will fill the crack on your roof. When the temperatures drop, the water on the crack will freeze, which will increase the size of the crack. This eventually leads to significant roof leaks. This ongoing cycle can result in serious roof damage if not addressed quickly. As such, you should contact a roofing company.