Homes often have several roofing problems during the winter months. In this article, we will list some
of the problems that occur and how to take care of those problems.
During the winter, heavy snow accumulating on your roof can severely cause damage. The homes
foundation may not be able to support the weight of the snow and cause the roof to collapse.
Ways to prevent snow damage, is to remove the snow manually with a shovel or “roof rake”.
When removing the snow manually with a shovel, please be careful of the dangers on your roof. The
roof may be slippery, and will be unsafe to climb or walk around on. Also, removing snow with a shovel
could potentially damage your shingles.
Using a roof rake is a safer method than climbing a ladder and walking on your roof. You can purchase
them from a home improvement store or your local hardware. From the ground, you can pull snow
down around the home. We recommend to go as far up as your rake extensions will let you. This will
also help with ice dams that may occur. We will go over ice dams shortly.
Another way to safely remove snow from the roof is to contact a roofing professional, who will have the
proper tools and experience with removing snow from your roof.
Ice dams occur when heavy snow build up starts to melt during the day and then refreezes when the
temperatures drop in the evening. When the melting and refreezing happens over several days, it is very
common for the melted snow and ice to build up under the shingles and eventually water will enter the
attic. This in turn causes damage to your ceilings, walls and any contents.
To prevent ice damming, remove the snow 6’ up from the eave after a heavy snow fall and keep
that area as clear as possible.
Keep your gutters clean! Cleaning your gutters in the spring and also a couple times in the fall will also
help prevent ice dams and more importantly help prolong the life of your gutter system.
You can install heat cable in your gutter system and in the downspouts to keep the gutter system from
freezing and allowing water to freely travel through the system and not freeze.
If you think you have an ice dam forming, you can apply calcium chloride to the area and this will melt
the ice fast. But please be aware that calcium chloride is not 100% safe for any vegetation and concrete
in that area. Use just enough to melt the ice and have a flow of water for the roof to drain. You can fill a
leg of a pair of pantyhose with calcium chloride and lay it lengthwise across the ice dam to form a tunnel
for the water to safely drain off the roof.
If you have an ice dam that is out of control, please call a roofing expert to safely remove the ice dam
and not cause any more damage to your roof.
Condensation occurs when warm temps meet cold temps. This typically happens in your attic.
Having a properly insulated attic will usually stop the condensation.
Condensation can creep into all crevices in your roof, your wooden frames and any metal parts and
cause damage. This also can cause insect infestation and that problem can make it worse.
Making sure that you have your attic properly insulated and vented and having your bathroom vents
exhausted outside of the attic will help keep condensation down to a minimum and any damage