How Snow Affects Your Roof


Snow and ice are inevitable. But letting it get out of control can cause problems for your roof, resulting in expensive repairs and replacements, while risking the health and safety of your family.

Understanding how snow impacts your roof, what to look out for, and how to prevent problems. Our guide has the answers for you here!

Common Impacts of Snow to a Roof

Ice Dams

Ice dams are when is water freezes around the edge of your roof, causing a “dam”. As the water starts to collect on the top, the dams don’t let the water runoff – it results in leaks, mould and mildew build-up, and rotting wood. It can also lead to damaged gutters.

Extensive Leaks

Snow is one of the leading causes of leaks in a household. Snow has a habit of creeping under your roofing shingles, causing water to infiltrate your home, resulting in leaks. Worse still is that when spring rolls around, the snow melts, flooding your roof, leading to severe water damage to roofs, walls and ceilings.

Cracks in the Roof Due to "Freeze & Thaw"

Cracks in the Roof Due to “Freeze & Thaw”

A major problem for many roofs. Similar to a burst pipe, when water freezes in the winter months, it expands dramatically. This expansion can result in cracks or tears in the roof, meaning costly repairs for you.

Potential Injuries from Falling Snow & Ice

All that excessive snow and ice has to go somewhere, and that’s usually down! Many homeowners have been injured by falling snow or ice, which further proves that you should clear your roof when possible to avoid any harmful injuries.

Blocked Airways Lead to Potential Poisoning

While not a common problem that can potentially happen, blocked airways can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. As snow and ice block the likes of vents and chimneys, it can lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide. Getting a detector is the best way to protect you and your family.

Roof Collapse

If you have an old, creaky and damaged roof, you risk the potential of it collapsing due to the excessive weight of the snow and ice. It’s best to keep snow cleared off your roof and get it inspected as soon as possible.

Potential for roof collapse. In a worst-case scenario, the roof can actually collapse. There is always the potential for roof collapse when a significant amount of snow and ice has collected due to the weight. Usually, you will see warning signs first.

Signs Snow is Causing Problems on Your Roof

There are a few clear-cut signs that snow is causing problems on your roof. Here is what to look out for:

  • Water leaks. Leaks occur because of the water infiltrating the roof via missing, cracked or curled shingles, as well as holes in the walls and ceilings.
  • Creaking sounds. This might indicate a structural failure. Snow will only make this problem worse.
  • Sagging ceilings. If you notice that your ceilings are sagging or drooping, water has started to affect it. Get repairs immediately!
  • Cracked walls or ceilings. This is usually caused by unnecessary pressure or the “freeze and thaw” expansion problem.

How to Protect Your Roof in Winter

While there is no avoiding the snow and ice in the winter, you can be proactive and take the necessary precautions to protect your roof and home against it. Here is what you can do to reduce any risks:

  • Get an inspection before the start of winter to detect the quality and condition of your roof. A professional¬†roofing company¬†can highlight if there are any problems with your roof and if you require anything extra to protect it during the winter.
  • Replace or repair any potential roofing hazards. If there are any leaks, cracks or missing shingles, you’re inviting yourself to have problems. Hire a roofer to fix any potential problems, so your roof is safe and secure for the winter.
  • Keep your roof clean, clear and maintained over the winter. Make sure that you clear snow off your roof and out of your gutters. This will stop any potential leaks or flooding from occurring. You should also start cleaning and clearing your roof and gutters before spring, so you don’t risk any potential damages due to melting snow.

While snow and ice are inevitable, you can be proactive and stop any potential problems from occurring by protecting and maintaining your roof. Start early and ensure your home is protected in the winter with these tips!

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