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Your Roof And Winter: Understanding The Effects Of Snow, Ice, And Rain

admin  |  December 1, 2019  |   |  No Comments

The winter season can take a toll on your roof. The snow, ice, freezing rain, and turbulent winds that come with the winter can pull off your roofing shingles, lead to roof leaks, and ultimately cause grievous damages that will gulp down a massive sum of money in repairs and replacements.

From all indications, the winter season has proven to be extremely capable of damaging your roof, especially if you live in a cold climate area. In almost all winter, your roof will get to witness diverse levels of wind, snow, ice, and continual thaw-freeze conditions. All these unfavorable conditions can result in severe and often hidden damage to the roof. At the end of the winter season, in spring, your roof will start to leak even at the slightest rain. Without a proper understanding of your roof and how’s influenced by the winter, you will not be able to control the effects effectively and this may lead to extra cost in hiring the services of a local roofer.

Effects Of Snow, Ice, And Rain On The Roof

Winter season brings with it ice, snow, and water, which all teams up to cause severe damage to the roof. While the delicate snow may seem beautiful, it can cause damage to your roof that can spring up other roof predicaments. Most homeowners and building managers fail to realize the importance of roof inspection immediately after winter, glaringly disrespecting the effects of snow, ice, and winter on the roof. Call your local roofer to help inspect your roof just after winter to help tackle the impact of winter early.

Snow Damage

No matter how small the snow inches might be, it should never be underrated. Snows can build up to many feet thick till it accumulates well over the load-bearing capacity of the roof. This is most visible in flat roofing, or roofs with lesser pitch. In such roofs, snows don’t get to fall off easily. True enough, snows can melt quickly away, all thanks to the changing weather condition and heat from your home. However, as the roof has a terrible slope, the sudden drop in weather can be another issue of concern. When these snows get to accumulate for long, it will lead to a bowed ceiling, creaks, cracks above your windows and doors, and finally, roof-collapse.

Most homeowners in a bid to redeem the issue by attempting to clear snows off their roofs often magnify the already unpleasant situation. Employing some tools like shovels to get rid of the snow can damage the shingles. Also, the use of rock salt or calcium chloride to melt the snow on the roof can be threatening.

Water Damage

When the run-off water refreezes to form ice dams at the edges of the roof, it will cause further rainwater to back up. These water once they get backed up,they will exploit pre-existing leak-prone areas and further creates leakage points. This water will find its way through these leaks and get under your shingles. Water can cause extensive interior damage to your home. Your home’s wall, ceiling, floors, and electrical wirings all bear the brunt of water damage. Also, mildew and mold are prone to grow in your home, making your home susceptible to health hazards. Water damage can affect both the flat and slanted roofs.

Wind Damage

As ice sheets pile up on your roof, the roof gets weakened. Other winter elements like water that gets under the shingles also weaken the roofing frame, making the roof shingles to be easily blown off by even the minutest turbulent wind. To heighten the distasteful scenario, hail or sleet of the winter can cause massive, expensive damages.

Ice Damage

Another bone of contention in the winter is the ice. Ice may accumulate at the eaves of your house. This happens when melt snow runs down to the edges of the building, then a sudden drop in temperature occurs, forcing the melt snows to refreeze. This situation is more known as ‘ice dam.’ This effect can block runoff water from making it out of your roof, forcing them to seek alternatives leading to roof leaks.

Always tackle any roof defects caused by ice dams and other winter induced damages with the assistance of your professional roofing contractor.

Preventing The Damage

To effectively prevent the damages posed by the winter, you must acknowledge the fact that timely inspection and installation of proper insulation and ventilation is the key. In the attic area, the insulation needs to run up the walls of your house then over the attic floor joists to form a near-perfect insulation envelope. In the attic scenario, only the floor of the attic should be insulated, not the underside of the roof!

Also, adequate ventilation is helpful. Proper ventilation works to balance out the interior temperature of the home to the temperature outside.

In summary, the winter damage can be effectively curtailed by;

  • Timely inspection
  • Prepare rain gutters by keeping them clean
  • Install proper insulation and ventilation system
  • Tackling any snow build up early

Handling The Winter Damage

In the event of any imminent winter damage, immediate actions are to be taken. First and foremost, start by getting your roof rid of any snow or ice buildup. Never used the ladder and shovel on your roof. Also, you should never toy with the idea of using chemical deicing agents on your roof, never! Instead, make use of a roof rake or a push broom, but be careful not to damage the roofing materials. Better still, you can consider involving a local roofing contractor to help you out. If there’s any sign of water damage, never delay in contacting your roofing repair and maintenance Company.

Your local roofer will proffer a long term solution to all the winter-ice, water, and snow damage. Adding an effective insulating system to your attic will add to the long term damage control.


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