The weight of snow and ice can cause serious damage to a roof. Icicles can form along the eaves and gables, and when they get heavy, they can pull the gutters off or cause other damage. In the worst case, the roof can collapse.
Ice dams are another common problem. They form when the snow on the roof melts, but the water cannot run off because the eaves are iced over. The water backs up and can seep into the roofing materials and cause damage. Ice dams can also cause leaks and create a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests.
Freeze and Thaw
In addition to the weight of snow and ice, when water from melted snow or rains freezes, it also can cause damage. If icicles form, especially on a north-facing roof, they may freeze solid. As the sun shines on them for hours each day, the ice could melt and then refreeze in the cracks of the shingles. Freezing and thawing can also cause the seams in shingles to open up.
The extra weight of the snow and ice can also cause stress on the roof framing. In extreme cases, the roof may sag or the rafters may buckle. Furthermore, the added stress can cause the roofing materials to deteriorate prematurely.
What can you do to protect your roof from the snow and ice?
There are several things you can do to prevent damage from snow and ice. First, make sure your roof is in good condition and has proper insulation. Second, keep the gutters and downspouts cleared of debris so the water can flow freely. Third, use a snow rake or shovel to remove the snow from the roof. And fourth, install heat cables along the eaves to keep the ice from forming.
If you already have damage from the snow and ice, it’s important to get it repaired as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the next storm. The sooner you take care of it, the less damage it will cause.