This past weekend we had our first snow/ice storm of the year but it will not be the last. Read about the impacts of such a storm below. Then call Greg Lilly Roofing if you suspect you have roof damage.
People rely on their roofs every day to protect their homes and properties from the harshest weather conditions. This is especially important during winter, when inclement weather can strike at any time. Winter can be one of the most difficult seasons for a roof. Snow and ice can impact its durability. You need the help of a roofing contractor to keep your roof in good condition.
It is important to know how snow and ice affect the structural integrity of your roof and what roofing materials are more able to withstand winter weather.
Roof Damage: Common Impacts of Ice and Snow on a Roof
Over the course of one winter, snow and ice can cause damage to your roof. Older roofs are more susceptible to winter weather as decades of snowstorms and ice can cause damage to their structural integrity. It doesn’t matter how old your roof is or how it looks from below, it’s vital to understand how winter can impact your roof.
Stress occurs when something exerts external pressure on a stationary object. You’re likely to have experienced stress when snow or ice is placed on a stationary object. One of the most damaging effects of snow on roofs is the heavy downward force caused by snow accumulation.
Roofs can sag when there is a lot of weight. This causes water, snow, and ice to accumulate even more. Other problems such as leaks can result from this isolated, heavy accumulation. Your roof could even cave in, which is the worst case scenario.
When warm air seeps from your roof’s edges, melting snow near your gutters can cause ice dams. The melted snow freezes and forms a barrier or dam of ice around your roof’s edge. An ice dam can block water and snow from reaching your roof. This can lead to many problems that can cause damage.
The ice dam can prevent water and snow from sliding off your roof. This can lead to leaks. Water can freeze and thaw repeatedly, causing gutter damage or even causing gutters to fall off your roof.
While many people think that roof leaks are caused by the summer rains, the truth is that snow is a major culprit. Snow can not only cause damage to your roof or ice dams but can also get under your shingles and find its way into tiny cracks on your roof.
Wintertime leaks can cause roof damage, but they can also lead to more serious problems. That snow could melt and enter your home on the next sunny day. This water can seep into insulation, walls, and ceilings, leading to mold and severe water damage.
Freeze and Thaw
People who live in colder areas know how dangerous the freeze-thaw cycle can prove to be. Potholes are common in the north United States. This is because water seeps through cracks in asphalt. The road becomes a mess as the water expands and freezes in winter. The same principle applies for roofs.
Water could get in through cracks or gaps between your roof and your shingles. The water expands as it freezes, and the temperature drops in winter. The expansion can cause roof shingles to fall off and make small cracks larger.
What Does Snow and Ice Do to Different Roofing Materials?
The impact of snow on your roof will depend on several factors such as the material. These are the most common roofing materials, and how they resist winter weather.
Copper: This long-lasting roofing material is durable and has a lifespan of at least 50 years. Copper is a strong metal and can withstand mold, mildew, and other water-related damage. It can also withstand severe winter weather, such as hailstorms.
Clay: The clay tile roofing is a traditional choice for roofing. It has been used for roofing for thousands of years. Clay tiles are often associated with Mediterranean homes that are located in places with warmer climates. However, they are very durable and can withstand the harsh winter cold. Clay roofing can trap air under its tiles and act as an insulation, keeping your home warm. This helps to limit the formation of ice dams and minimize damage from the freeze-thaw cycle.
Slate: Slate roofs can be an all-natural and durable option for roofing. Slate roofs, which are made of thin rocks, are highly resistant to extreme temperatures and water damage. They act as natural insulation, keeping your home warm and cold outside. They can last for up to 100 years if they are taken care of properly.
Wood: If you are looking for variety and sustainability, then wood roofs might be right for you. There are many options for wood roofs, but all offer excellent insulation. Although they aren’t very resistant to water damage, they can be used in dry climates and are highly energy-efficient.
Preventing damage from snow and ice
Proper roof maintenance is essential to keep your roof in great shape for many years. These three steps will help you prevent any future damage to your roof from snow and ice.
Replacing: Some roofs can be repaired with minor repairs, but others may need to be replaced completely. It all depends on the materials used and the extent of damage. You should choose a roof material that can withstand winters and lasts if you are considering replacing it.
Keep your roof clean: Your roof should be cleaned at least twice per year to avoid damage. Your roof should be cleaned at the end of the fall and beginning of the spring. This will ensure that you don’t have any snow or ice on your roof before the winter arrives.
Roof Inspection: Regularly inspect your roof for damage. It may be difficult to determine the source of a leak if it is leaking. Greg Lilly Roofing & Restoration is a professional roofing contractor that can inspect your roof to determine the problem and offer advice.
Call Greg Lilly Roofing & Restoration now if you need help in maintaining your roof.