Winter can be rough on roofing – especially in Colorado. From heavy snowfall and ice accumulation to powerful wind storms, there’s a lot of room for potential damage to strike. If you are currently dealing with damage or want to prepare for the possibility of it, continue on to learn the ins and outs of winter roof damage. 

What Causes Roof Damage in the Winter 

As you can imagine, the main culprit behind most instances of winter roof damage is the weather. With winter comes freezing temperatures and snow in many regions of the country. Here are a few of the main issues that could occur. 

Ice damming. This is one of the main causes of roof damage in the winter. Ice damming is a phenomenon that occurs when the warmth of your home heats up your shingles and the snow on top of them. The snow then melts, drips down to the cooler edges of your roof, and freezes. This can create a sort of “dam” of ice. As snow-melt travels down, the ice wall traps it. This standing water can seep through your shingles and cause a leak.

Closeup of an ice dam

Condensation. When ice damming or winter build-up of any kind occurs, it’s likely that you may experience excess moisture below your roof as well. Over time, condensation can lead to additional problems such as mold and structural damage such as wood rot.  

Mold on wood beams due to condensation

Icicle formation. Unassuming as they may appear, icicles can actually take a toll on your shingles and gutter. They can also point to the presence of an ice dam. Not only can icicles be damaging to your home, but they can pose a safety risk if they get knocked loose. 

Extreme icicles on home gutters

Heavy snow. If a particularly intense winter storm rolls through and dumps a significant amount of snow on your roof, it could potentially weigh it down. Roofs are only built to withstand a certain amount of weight. When that weight is exceeded, it can lead to ceiling sagging or even a collapsed roof. 

Heavy snow on a roof

Aggravation of existing problems. The continuous cycle of freezing and thawing throughout the season can make present damage worse. It can displace loose shingles, cause roof flashing to detach, further deteriorate damaged caulking, and more. 

Signs of Winter Roof Damage

Many of the signs of roof damage remain the same throughout the year. You may have an issue on your hands when you notice a leak, water stains, visible disruption of your shingles, sagging roof or ceiling, a higher electric bill, or light shining through your attic

As previously mentioned, in the winter, keep an eye out for icicles. This can be a sign of ice damming. 

What to Do When You Notice Roof Damage Caused by Winter Weather

If you notice any of the above signs of roof damage caused by the weather presented in the winter, it may be time to get your roof repaired or replaced. But you may be wondering, is it even possible to repair a roof in the winter? Although it is difficult to replace or repair a roof in the winter, it’s not impossible. But you should keep in mind that this is best left to the professionals. 

Roof replacement in the winter must be done with care by local experts. They will have an understanding of all the factors that can get in the way of a strong roofing system. Of course, weather conditions will slow this process down significantly. It’s important to stay patient through this process. Rushing through it could lead to poor installation or damage to the rest of your home. 

How to Prevent Winter Roof Damage 

The best way to combat ice damming and condensation is to assure your attic space is properly ventilated and insulated. This will prevent heat from seeping through and melting the snow on your roof. 

You can also take steps such as cleaning your gutter before winter begins. This will allow for better drainage to reduce the chances of ice forming at the edge of your roof. 

Before winter weather even strikes, you can take preventative measures to see if your roof is up to snuff. This is where you can call on your trusted local roofer. Get an inspection before the season begins. This can give you a good idea of how your roof will hold up against the cold reality of Colorado winter weather.

Whether you’re in need of a winter roof repair or simply want to assure your roof is in good shape, 970 Services is here to help! If you’re in the Northern Colorado area, give us a shout. We offer a free inspection to set you up for success this winter! 

Contact us today!