How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof

Icicles and snow on a roof - Vertex Roofing

Prevent Damage by Preparing Your Roof for Winter Snow and Ice

While the glint and glimmer of freshly fallen snow may present the perfect backdrop for a photograph, it’s massive weight can create a number of serious problems resulting in expensive repairs to your home. Icicles on your gutters are an obvious red flag indicating damage, yet other conditions, such as ice dams, form beneath the snowfall on your roof without any visible warning signs. Regular roof and gutter inspections along with proper maintenance go a long way towards preventing problems, but heavy snowfall may need to be carefully removed from your rooftop to prevent collapse of the structure.

Potential Damage From Snow and/or Ice

While not an all inclusive list, snow and/or ice have the potential to create any or all of the following types of damage to your home:

  1. Ice dams. In certain weather conditions (particularly in homes with a poorly ventilated attic), snow may begin to melt above your home's warm interior space while the snow and/or ice at the edges of the roof (the eaves) remains frozen. This situation prevents proper runoff and creates standing water which can result in serious water damage. Proper attic ventilation is key to prevention.
  2. Gutter damage. Gutters which are clogged with leaves, dirt and/or other debris encourage the formation of icicles when air temperatures are below freezing but sunshine warms the exterior surfaces of your home. Icicles can be extremely heavy and may result in damage to your gutters and/or the roof itself.
  3. Collapse of the structure. Although not a common scenario in homes which have been built to code, heavy snowfall does have the potential to overburden structural components and can cause building collapse if not promptly removed. Rooftop snow removal can be a dangerous procedure, however, and is best handled by a professional roofing contractor.
  4. Damage from tree branches. The extra weight from snow and/or ice has the potential to pull tree limbs down into contact with your roof, causing damage to the shingles. If a limb happens to break and land on your roof, structural damage could also occur.
  5. Leakage around skylights. Weep holes surrounding skylights are designed to release interior condensation yet often become blocked from snow or ice. Trapped condensation will then begin to leak into your home and can cause water damage on structural components, ceilings and more.

Preventative Maintenance is Key to Avoiding Costly Damage

Preventative maintenance, including regular roofing inspections, cleaning of gutters and snow removal when necessary are all key to avoiding costly repairs with your roof, gutters, ceilings and more. Replacing worn shingles before winter storms arrive, trimming tree limbs and cleaning out the gutters are inexpensive procedures which can be completed within a short window of time. Be aware, however, that improper techniques for snow removal are not only potentially dangerous but may inadvertently cause damage to the roof itself. Snow shovels have a tendency to damage shingles and chemicals such as calcium chloride or rock salt applied to melt snow or ice may actually void the warranty of your roof.

Utah Roofing Professionals Bring Peace of Mind to Your Life

Hiring a professional roofing contractor will simplify all aspects of roofing maintenance and/or repairs and bring you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the job has been done right. In Salt Lake City, Utah, Vertex Roofing Contractors will provide you with 15 years of experience, free estimates and special financing for a full 60 months for those with approved credit. Contact us today to find out how we can best assist you.

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How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof

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How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof