How Snow and Ice Affect Your Roof

March 16, 2023

How Snow and Ice Affect Your Roof

If you live in an area that gets frequent snow, sleet, hail, and freezes, the weather may be affecting your roof more than you think. When snow and ice build up on your roof, it can seep into small cracks and holes on your roof as it melts. When the temperatures fluctuate again, that water will refreeze and expand, causing the small cracks and holes to become bigger and wider. The process then repeats itself when the snow and ice melts again, making your roof damage more and more severe – sometimes in a very short period of time. Here’s a look at how snow and ice affect your roof, and how consistent roofing inspections, seasonal assessments, and professional roof repair and gutter repair can mitigate your risk of significant roof damage. 

The Weight of Snow

A strong, healthy roof should be able to support up to 20 pounds or four feet of snow; however, older roofs or roofs that are in poor condition can sag under the weight of snow buildup. The weight of snow on your rooftop can also cause ceiling leaks, icicle accumulation, structural damage, water damage, and ice dams. If you notice any warning signs of snow buildup on your roof, call a roofing contractor in your area for an assessment. 

Ice Dams

Ice dams occur when poor ventilation and snow buildup cause uneven or fluctuating roof temperatures. Warm air from your attic will heat up the underside of your roof and melt the ice and snow above. When that water runs down your roof to its edges, it refreezes and creates large pieces of ice that block your gutters. The gutter blockages not only prevent water from being redirected away from your house as it drains, but can even become heavy enough that it breaks off pieces of your gutters, causes them to sag, or removes gutters, eaves, and shingles entirely. It can be very dangerous to go up onto an icy roof to try to remove ice dams, so if you suspect your roof has ice dams, you should call a roofing contractor for roof repair and gutter repair. A roof contractor will use a specialized ice-melting product to safely break apart ice dams, and will then remove snow buildup from your roof, assess any damage, and repair roofing and gutters. 

Condensation and Water Damage

Condensation of water vapor can occur on cold surfaces of your roof and attic when warm, moist air migrates into the attic from below. This condensation causes wood to rot, and increases your risk of mold and mildew growth. Attic condensation can significantly affect your family’s health and safety, and can lead to costly damages that only grow worse over time. Watch for warning signs of condensation, including a sagging ridgeline, drooping ceiling, water leaks on interior walls and ceilings, doors and windows that are hard to open, creaking sounds, and cracked interior walls towards the center of your home. Call a roofing contractor right away if you notice any of these warning signs. 

Prevention Techniques

You can prevent ice dams by properly venting your roof. Proper ventilation allows the warm air to escape your attic without increasing the temperature of your roof. You should also consider insulating your attic floor to prevent hot air from entering your attic. You should clean your gutters thoroughly before winter weather sets in, and inspect your gutters for damage routinely throughout the season. Make sure that roof repairs and gutter repairs are completed timely by a qualified, experienced roofing contractor. You can also remove snow buildup using a snow rake, or hire a professional for snow removal from your roof. Finally, be aware of the warning signs of roof damage, gutter damage, and ice dams so you can seek professional assistance as soon as possible, preventing further damage that may affect the structural integrity of your home as well as the safety of your family and pets.

Do You Need a Roofing Assessment, Roof Repair, or Gutter Repair in Northern Maryland? Call Us Today

If you suspect that you have roof damage or gutter damage in Northern Maryland, contact us today at Harford Roofing & Exteriors. We offer quick, reliable, and professional roof repair and gutter repair at fair, competitive prices. We can quickly assess your roof for damage and detail the specific remedies available to you to prevent further damage. We always offer fair, transparent pricing and will never try to get you to pay for something you don’t need. We also offer competitive financing to customers who qualify, and accept all forms of payment, including Venmo. If you need roof repair or gutter repair, or need further advice on protecting your roof from damage, we can help. Just call us today at (443) 292-6020 for an onsite assessment, or request a quote online.