5 Ways Winter Storms Damage Roofs

Winter storms can bring in low temperatures, lots of snow, and high winds. All of these factors can lead to roof damage, so it's vital that you know what to watch for.

1. Shingle Damage

The most obvious form of damage is to the shingles. Wind can rip shingles off or lift them up and ruffle them so they no longer lay flat. Even a single damaged shingle can leave the roof prone to leaks. You can survey the roof from the ground following the storm. Check for missing and torn shingles, as well as those that aren't laying flat and smooth. Call in a roofer to repair any damage. 

2. Impact Penetrations

Winter storms often arrive with a blast of cold wind. Combined with brittle, frozen tree branches, a gust of wind can send a large limb crashing onto your roof. Sometimes there is obvious damage that will require an immediate repair, such as if the branch has penetrated the roof and caused a hole. In other cases, the debris may not penetrate the roof but damage to the shingles may still occur, which will require repair. 

3. Icicle Loads

Icicles lining the eaves of your roof may make your home look like it belongs in a magical winter wonderland, but that ice can cause major damage. Large icicles are also a hazard, as they can fall on those walking below. Icicles on the eaves indicate ventilation or gutter issues with the roof, which are problems that can lead to further damage. The weight of the icicles can also damage your roof's eaves. 

4. Ice Dams

Ice dams form when something stops the flow of melting snow and ice from moving off the roof, such as a clogged gutter or a rooftop accessory like a chimney. The dammed-up water backflows beneath the shingles when it hits the obstruction, where it leaks inside immediately or refreezes and doesn't leak inside until a thaw. Your roofer can melt ice dams for a quick fix, and then they can remove the obstruction or reroute the flow to avoid future issues. 

5. Weight Concerns

Every roof is rated to hold a certain amount of weight, and local building codes set the minimum weight that a roof must be engineered to hold. If you receive more snowfall or ice buildup then your roof is rated for, there is the risk of a roof collapse. Creaking noises and sagging roof lines are symptoms of immediate collapse danger. If you are concerned about the snow load, then call your roofer to help clear the weight and inspect for damage. 

Contact a storm damage roof repair service if you suspect a winter storm has compromised your roof.