How Can Snow and Ice Negatively Impact Your Roof?

August 12, 2022

During the harsh winter months, your roof does a lot of heavy lifting protecting you and your home from the frigid weather outside. However, winter can also be a very problematic time for your roof. Snow and ice can be a daily occurrence during winter and while your roof protects you from this extreme weather, it can do serious damage to your roof after a while. What kind of damage can snow and ice cause to your roof? What warning signs should you be looking out for? What can you do to prevent future damage? We’ll answer all these questions here.

snow on roof
Roof of wooden house with snow in winter day

Prolonged exposure to snow and ice during winter months can cause a plethora of problems for your roof. One of the most common problems your roof faces during the harsh winter weather is stress. Having the heavy weight of ice and snow sitting on your roof for long periods can put some serious stress on your roof that slowly weakens it. If snow builds up too much on a roof, the stress from the accumulated snow can even cause your roof to cave in. Heavy ice accumulation on your roof can also create ice dams. Ice dams are formed when melting snow and ice flow down your roof and freezing on the edge of the roof.

These ice dams can cause serious gutter damage to your roof. Snow and ice can also lead to cracks forming in your roof or making existing cracks worse. Water can seep into cracks in your roof and freeze in the frigid temperatures of winter which causes the crack to become bigger which will in return make any leaks in your roof worse when the ice thaws. These are just a handful of the problems snow and ice can bring to your roof, but these are some of the most common and most serious.

icicles on gutters
ice icicles on the roofs of houses , the concept of winter ,cold

As we discussed above, heavy exposure to snow and ice can cause some very serious issues for your roof, but what are the warning signs that the winter weather is doing damage to your roof. There are actually a wide number of very obvious signs that the untrained eye may not notice. If you know what you’re looking for then you’ll quickly notice the warning signs of snow and ice damage if there is any. Some of the most common indications that your roof is suffering from snow and ice damage include:

  • Leaks
  • Cracked or missing shingles
  • Ice buildup in gutters
  • Water pooling in certain areas
  • Loss of granules from shingles
  • Darkened portions of your roof
  • Etc.

If you notice one or more of these signs, it is essential to contact a professional as soon as possible because even if some of these issues don’t seem all that major, they can cause some really serious damage to your roof later down the line.

snow on multiple roofs on home
Houses with snow on their roofs in snowy cold weather after snowfall

Knowing the signs of snow and ice damage are nice, but how can you prevent future roof damage caused by harsh winter weather? One thing you can do is remove excess snow from your roof. If snow keeps accumulating with no signs of stopping, then it could cave the roof in if it’s not removed. If you think too much snow has built up on your roof, contact a professional to come and remove it for you. This will help alleviate the stress caused by the heavy weight of snow buildup on your roof. If you notice ice dams forming, you can rake them off, close up attic bypasses, add insulation to your attic, install heat cables, etc. Snow and ice can also make existing issue with your roof worse, so it’s important to ensure your roof is healthy all year round since this will not only guarantee your roof offers optimal protection but will also help prevent the winter weather from escalating any problems your roof already has when winter rolls around.

Like with any other kind of extreme weather, snow and ice can be bad news for your roof, so we hope we have shown you just how serious the issues they can cause are and how to handle in problems they cause if they should arise. To guarantee the health of your roof during the cold winter months, be vigilant of any signs of snow or ice damage and contact a professional quickly if you notice anything wrong to ensure the problem doesn’t get worse.