Extreme winter weather is bad for people, but as the risk of snow and ice accumulation increases the deeper we get into a brutal winter, it also poses a serious risk to your roofing system. To keep your roof in good condition all year round, roof maintenance is important, especially for the winter months. It is also the main risk factor due to the accumulation of snow and ice to prevent roof damage and roof collapse.
Snow and ice damage to the roof, particularly in older buildings, may collapse roofs. Older houses, which can undermine their structural integrity, have a greater chance of corrosion. Under the threat of excess snow and ice, newer buildings with light-weight metal roofs, flat roofs, or roofs that do not have a lot of support are more likely to give in. Snow drifts with projections, a lower roof, or other devices on a flat roof will collect snow that has drifted with the wind. This can cause vulnerability unless there are additional reinforcement aids.
How can your roof be impacted by snow and ice?
Here are some ways that your roof is negatively impacted by snow and ice:
Humans are not the only ones facing stress. Your roof suffers from the heavy weight of snow and ice that causes stress during the cold winter. Due to the accumulation of snowfall, the roof may cave in. Naturally, rainwater will flow to your roof’s lowest point, and this can form large ice blocks once the temperature drops below freezing. The stress of the roof increases, as these large ice blocks increase with weight, which also poses a higher risk of winter roof damage which can cause cave-ins.
If sufficient ice accumulates on the roof, ice dams can form. This is caused by the melting of ice and snow, flowing down the roof and freezing right at the roof’s edge. Ice dams on roofs can cause significant damage to the gutter and may even tear off the roof by flashing.
Thaw and Freeze
You might notice cracks t because of the accumulation of snow and ice. This could pose a major problem for your roof when water seeps into even the smallest cracks. This can not only cause leaks in your home, but it can make the cracks much more prominent. However the crack can expand if the water doesn’t leak and it freezes, causing an even bigger problem.
Damage from gutters
When air temperatures are below freezing and the gutters clogged with leaves, dirt or other debris encourage the formation of icicles, but sunshine warms your home’s exterior surfaces. Icicles can be extremely heavy and your gutters and the roof itself may be damaged.
Damage caused by tree branches
The extra weight from snow and ice has the ability to pull down tree limbs into contact with your roof, causing shingles to be damaged. Structural damage could also happen if a limb happens to break and land on your roof.
Leakage around skylights
Weep holes around skylights are intended to release internal condensation, but are often blocked by snow or ice. Trapped condensation will then begin to leak into your home and may cause structural components and ceilings to cause water damage.
Preventative maintenance is essential to avoid costly damage
Preventative roof maintenance, including regular roofing inspections, gutter cleaning and if necessary, snow removal, are all key to avoiding costly roof, gutter, ceiling repairs and more.
Here is how a roofing contractor prevents damage from ice & snow
A quality roofing company will avoid all these problems by:
- Installation of shingles in areas including above fireplaces and skylights in the valleys to avoid damage.
- To prevent moisture under the shingles, install the correct underlayer on your roof, including ice and water shield.
- Install a state-of-the-art venting system to keep hot air from building up in your attic space.
How to Prepare Your Roof for Winter?
At RVA Roof and Tree, we’ve been installing roofs for decades to survive all kinds of weather. We’ve seen the worst that the winters can throw at your roof and we’d love to help prepare your roof for any and all kinds of weather conditions. To avoid winter roof damage or to have your roof damage repaired, contact us for roof services in Richmond, VA.