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We’re officially into the time of year where snow and ice are an always-present possibility in our daily lives. And while many people are already in the habit of worrying about snow and ice removal on their driveways and sidewalks, there is another area of your home that often gets overlooked: your roof.

While many people don’t think much about their roof unless it’s leaking, snow and ice can in fact cause or worsen damage to your roof. Here are the most common issues we see during the winter.

Stress Damage

Accumulated snow and ice can add a lot of extra weight to your roof, especially during prolonged periods of inclement weather. Many people don’t realize just how heavy snow can be; while light, fluffy snow only weighs about 4 lbs per square foot, wet snow can weigh up to 13 lbs per square foot. Spear over an entire roof, and you can see how quickly it can add up. Roofs that aren’t properly maintained, or are aged, can end up sagging or even caving in from the stress the excess weight puts on the sheathing, & trusses.

Freeze & Thaw Damage

When snow melts on your roof, it means the water runs off, right? Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. If you have existing cracks in your roofing material, even very small ones, water can become trapped in them. If the water is still in these cracks when freezing temperatures hit, it can force the cracks open, making them bigger and potentially causing leaks.

Ice Dams

Ice dams occur when snow buildup melts during the day, and then refreezes on your roof overnight. This is most common on roofs where water gets trapped in areas like valleys or along the gutters. If ice dams aren’t removed, they can continue to grow, causing issues like compromised roofing materials, damaged gutters, and can even tear your flashing.

Blocked Chimneys & Vents

Sometimes, snow & ice can build up to the point that it blocks your vents or your chimney. Improper ventilation can lead to ice dams, and a blocked chimney risks allowing carbon dioxide or smoke back into your home, which can be extremely dangerous to your health and safety.

Warning Signs of Roof Issues from Snow & Ice

It can be hard to tell if snow or ice are causing issues with your roof, especially if snow is sticking around and preventing you from getting a good look. Here are some signs you can look for:

  • Creaking sounds coming from the roof that you haven’t noticed before
  • A droop in the ceiling
  • New cracks in your walls with no known foundation issues
  • Water leaks

Protect Your Roof from Snow & Ice Damage

It’s impossible to prevent snow & ice from forming on your roof, but there are things you can have done to make sure they don’t cause damage. Snow guards can be installed to help encourage snow & ice to melt completely and get off of your roof. Another option is to have snow or ice dams removed when they aren’t melting on their own.

At Avondale Roofing, we know how important it is to address snow & ice before they cause issues with your roof. We have over 30 years of experience in handling roof repairs, snow removal, roof replacements, and gutter installation. Our highly experienced roofing experts can help you assess whether or not your roof is at risk of snow or ice damage, and make appropriate repair or replacement recommendations to make sure your home remains protected from the elements. Contact us today to set up your Free Estimate. We proudly serve the Madison, WI area, Chicago, IL area, and beyond.