While the first few snow dustings and some tiny icicles feel like a cozy winter wonderland, as more snow accumulates, your roof can really take a beating. So often, people don’t recognize how heavy snow can be. But if you’ve ever experienced the chore of brushing multiple inches of snow off your vehicle, you know how quickly those little flakes turn into a heavy blanket. So even if your roof is in pristine condition, there are many ways snow can affect your roof.

Common Winter Roof Problems

Snow damage depends on various factors, including the condition of your shingles, how clean your gutters are and the amount of insulation in your attic. Snow is simply a form of water, not quite liquid and not quite ice. As with all things water-related, snow has the potential to cause serious damage. Here are a few things to watch out for over the winter:

Ice Dams

The primary cause of ice damming is poor insulation. As the heat from the house moves into the attic, it rises to the highest point of the roof—this roof area under the snow melts. As the water rolls down the roof, it comes into contact with the cold lower portion, where it re-freezes. Not only can it tear away gutters and flashing, but it can cause water to back up underneath your shingles.

The Freeze-Thaw Cycle

Like the way ice dams form, natural fluctuations in the weather can cause the snow to melt and refreeze. If you already have small cracks in your roof or damage from previous ice dams, the water can find those cracks and make its way into your home. When this happens, you increase the risk of water damage and mold.

Weight and Physical Damage

The heavy snow puts a lot of strain on your roof and can cause bowing. Unfortunately, many homeowners try to fix this by removing the snow, accidentally damaging the shingles and opening the roof up to water damage.

If you think you have winter roof problems, contact Van Horn Construction today for a professional opinion, free estimate and repair options.