How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof

How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof

A winter full of ice and snow can really take a toll on your roof – even if it is a new one. It’s always a good idea to get your roof inspected after a long winter. If issues aren’t addressed fast enough they can turn into larger problems when the summer storms begin. Here are some of the common problems associated with snow and ice and how they can impact your roof.

A Puncture in Your Roof

Punctures are a serious problem especially during ice storms. If you have a tree overhanging your roof with ice accumulated on it, it will be extremely heavy if it falls and it could cause a serious puncture. Even limbs that have a lot of snow on them have enough weight to puncture through several of your roof’s layers. Major leaks may develop as a result.

Ice Dams

Ice dams that form on your roof during the winter months have a good chance of becoming leaks when the warmer months arrive. If you see any water stains appearing on your ceiling during the spring, you may have experienced an ice dam during the winter.

Damaged and Missing Shingles

A heavy winter storm can blow away shingles that aren’t attached properly to the roof while damaging others. In the spring you should look for missing, curling, broken or bent shingles. It’s not uncommon to see these types of issues – especially when we’ve experienced a cold harsh winter with a lot of snow and ice.

Roofing Blisters

When the cold winter air turns into a warmer spring breeze, roof blisters may occur. The rising temperature of the air can trap moisture and air between the layers of the roofs. This usually happens only on flat or low sloped roofs and fortunately doesn’t happen as frequently on higher pitched roofs.

A Word about Hail

Hail is a four letter word when it comes to roofs. Hail has the ability to create hairline punctures and cracks in the asphalt that are very difficult to see. The small cracks may not allow water into the home but maybe enough to pull granules off of the shingles. While some hail-related damage is easy to spot, there are instances where damage may have occurred that isn’t obvious to the untrained eye.

The Thaw/Freeze Cycle

Water presenting itself as rain can easily get into the smallest cracks and then when the temperature dips below zero and the water starts to freeze this crack will expand. When it starts to warm up more water will enter the crack and it will get bigger. In Canada, there’s not much we can do about this type of weather cycle except keep our roofs maintained regularly. This way, we can spot small problems before they become big emergencies.

Snow and ice buildup on roofs can cause serious load issues by putting stress on roof flashings and roof accessories. Come spring, it’s always a good idea to get your roof inspected by an experienced roofing company to make sure that your roof made it through another brutal Canadian winter unscathed.

I found a pretty cool videos on youtube for a device that helps clean the snow off of your roof.  I have not tried it and I never have to deal with too much snow buildup on my roof but I thought I would share.


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