Minimizing Winter Roof Damage
Snow gets a mixed reaction from people. Some of us love the idea of a “winter wonderland.” However, some of us can’t stand the stuff, especially in January when temperatures are at their lowest and we seem to get more ice than snow.
Your roof is part of that latter group. It’s not a fan of the white fluffy stuff. For one, snow accumulates on your roof, melts in the midday sun, then freezes before it has a chance to drain away. This thawing and freezing process develops what we call “ice dams”, which are a huge problem for your roof’s integrity. Ice dams put undue stress and weight on your roof and gutters and can let moisture into your attic or crawl space in the process.
With that said, there are a few ways to minimize the effect of ice dams on your roof this winter.
Rake the Snow Away
After a big blizzard, we’d suggest busting out the snow rake. A snow or “roof rake” is a telescopic tool that should reach onto your roof and gently nudge the accumulation of snow downward. We recommend you be gentle and keep from scraping your roof or gutters in the process.
However, if you rake away most of the snow after a blizzard then it has less of a chance to clog your gutters with ice. Even better; less snow means less of a chance of all that extra moisture getting between your shingles or seeping through your flashing.
Keep Your Gutters Clear
It’s unfortunate that fall follows winter so closely. While it’s a good way to ease us into colder temperatures, all the tree debris can do a number of our gutters right before they’re needed through the winter.
Clogged gutters will do very little to drain away melting snow. If melted snow drains too slowly (or not at all), then you’ll soon find yourself with absolutely massive ice dams forming around the roof of your home. When ice dams are big, they’ll begin to pull on your gutters, which can then give that excess moisture a way into your fascia (the wooden front of your home where the exterior meets the roof). When you start the winter with clear gutters you can be sure that all that melted snow has a point of egress.
Our Roofing Experts are Here for You
Depending on the severity of the winter, or just the unique design of your home, ice dams may be a normal part of the winter for you. If that’s the case, then it might be time to invest in a new roof or new gutters. If you’d like, we can come out to take a look for you and suggest the best course of action.