Can Snow Damage My Roof?
and other snowy weather concerns
There are a few issues that are straightforward to fix in your home like a washing machine hose in your basement, and/or a water leak in your home.
Snow damage on the roof however is more complicated and trickier to fix and can be caused in several different ways.
Common Issues on Roofs from Snow
1. Ice Dam Formation
The warm air emitted from your heated living spaces warms the shingles on your roof and the snow that’s on it. The snow then melts and drips down towards the colder areas of your roof, where it refreezes as ice. Once this layer of ice is thick enough, it causes the melting snow to seep under the shingles, and into your home through leakage points.
The best way to prevent ice dam formation is by insulating and ventilating your attic. Additionally, you should also clean out the gutters and downspouts in the late fall to remove the snow accumulated on the edges of your roof. Professional roofing contractors go the extra mile by installing trace cables in the gutters to prevent backups of snow on the roof.
2. Attic Condensation Issues
Ice dam formation affects the top of your roof as well as the area just below the roof, which in most homes is the attic. Winter build-up on your roof can cause moisture build-up in the attic, leading to mold growth and wood rot. The solution to this is again proper ventilation, but you should also fix any leaks in the insulation in the floor to prevent moist air from entering.
3. Heavy Rooftop Snow Loads
Not all roofs are built the same—some can handle more weight than others. If too much ice and snow accumulates on the top of your house, and your roof can’t handle this excess weight, your roof may cave in and collapse. Even though wet snow is heavy, large piles of lighter snow can also put considerable pressure on your roof, causing it to collapse.
Poor roof drainage and/or poor construction can make things worse and can lead to creaking, leaking, and sagging of the roof. Roof sagging can lead to far more issues than at the surface-level. Your home’s foundation could also be at risk if roof sagging becomes an issue.
Tips to Avoid Winter Roof Replacement
Trust us, no one wants to be on a roof in the middle of the winter, but sometimes there is no other option. Instead of waiting until the air gets chilly, make sure you schedule annual roof inspections so if there are any issues they can be solved before Mother Nature comes at us with the cold.
There are several ways to avoid winter roof replacement and prevent costly damage. Here are just a few tips and tricks from us.
1. Remove the Snow ASAP
Snow on your roof can have a postcard effect but can cause serious damage if left for too long.
It’s a good practice to remove all the snow from your roof as quickly and thoroughly as possible and keep the roof dry. This may require professional help, as the conditions can make surfaces slippery.
2. Repair Flashing
Inspect your existing flashing— the thin metal material to direct water away from certain areas of your roof. Even if your flashing was installed years ago, it can become warped or even loosened over time. Improper roof flashing can let snow and other ice precipitation through your roof, which can result in an interior leak if excess moisture builds up.
You should also check your gutters regularly for any signs of ice dams. If your gutters are filled with ice, they can become weakened, and unable to hold the weight.
3. Clear All Debris
Before winter rolls in, clean all the debris from your gutters, flashing, and downspouts. like leaves, pine needles, and other grime. By doing so, you will prevent waterlogging, and rotting caused by moisture accumulation.
4. Hire a Professional Roofer For an Annual Inspection
There are some roof maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, but major work should be left to the professionals. Experts not only ensure your safety but also give you peace of mind knowing that everything is properly checked and repaired.
Does Insurance Cover Damage to Roof from Snow?
This depends on your homeowner’s insurance policy, but most insurers do cover roof collapse caused by the weight of ice, snow, or sleet. However, a roof that was previously in bad shape or damaged may not be covered, so it’s best to keep your roof well-maintained. Apart from damage from snow, sleet, and ice, a standard home insurance policy will also cover damage to your personal belongings caused by roof collapse.
Who has the time to call insurance? No one.
That’s why our insurance claim specialists handle the hassle and speak to your home insurance provider to check if roof damage due to snow/ice is covered under your policy.
Why Choose RoofTec Precision Exteriors to Repair Your Snow-Damaged Roof?
RoofTec Precision Exteriors has been in the roof repair and maintenance space for over 30 years. We are fully licensed, bonded and insured, and also OSHA certified.
Furthermore, we are long-standing members of the National Roofing Contractors Association, the Better Business Bureau, and the National Women in Roofing organizations, and have earned the top GAF contractor’s certification.