5 Most Common Roof Problems in Winter

Fallen tree branches on the roof of a residential building during winter

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true for the roof of your home. Although shingles are designed to be extremely durable, harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on your roof. Ice, snow, wind, and the continuous cycle of freezing and thawing can create serious problems for your roof without proper prevention and maintenance. Read our following guide to learn about the top 5 most common winter roof problems and how to deal with them.

Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters are one of the most common causes of roof problems during wintertime. Gutters that are clogged with leaves and dirt can prevent water from flowing away from the house as it should. This issue can cause water to pool on the roof, leading to water damage. Periodic inspection and cleaning of your gutters can help prevent any unnecessary roof damage.

Overhanging Tree Branches

Frozen or dead branches commonly fall off of trees during wintertime, which can result in significant damage to your roof. Additionally, branches that are too close to the roof can cause shingle damage, premature roof failure, and create potential opportunities for mold growth. Regular pruning of branches that are close to the home can help prevent costly roof repairs.

Leaky Flashings

Flashings are thin strips of metal that are placed along the edges and ridges of the roof, skylights, and chimneys to create a waterproof barrier. Improper installation and severe weather can cause flashings to become uplifted, loose, or detached from the roof. Damaged flashings are one of the most common causes of roof leakage. It is important to inspect your flashings regularly and replace any damaged pieces to prevent potential problems.

Ice Dams

Ice dams are the accumulation of water and ice under shingles. They are formed when snow on the peak of the roof melts, but then refreezes as it flows downward. Any water caught behind the ice dam can seep into cracks and joints of the roof and cause structural damage. To avoid ice dams, it is important to make sure that your roof has an efficient ventilation system, all cracks are sealed, and excess ice and snow is removed from your roof regularly.

Damaged Shingles

Unfortunately, most shingles are not designed to last forever. Weather damage is inevitable and can result in leaks and structural problems without proper maintenance. Look for signs of damage such as cracked, curled, loose, or missing shingles during annual roof inspections. If you find signs of damaged shingles, it is essential to consult a professional roofer to inspect and repair the problem.