3 Types of Winter Roof Damage

3 Types of Winter Roof Damage - Des Moines Area Roofing

Winter weather can wreak havoc on peoples’ properties. Some of the most common damage caused by ice, snow, and wind is found on your roof. Let’s review how these elements can harm your roof and the ways you can identify and prevent damage, so you can enjoy your time playing in the snow or snuggling inside.


When you turn the heat on in your home, the warm air rises. When the warm air reaches your shingles, the snow on your roof will begin to melt. The water from the melted snow will drip down to the edges of the roof, where it is colder. Then, it refreezes as ice. As this cycle repeats, an ice dam grows, creating a barrier that holds extra water behind it. With nowhere to go, this water can seep underneath your shingles. 

The longer an ice dam sits on your roof, the more damage it creates. It can cause gaps in your roof, as well as  leaks. The best way to prevent ice dams from building is by adding insulation to your attic and roof, in order to prevent your shingles from heating up. It is also best to keep your gutters clear, to allow any melted snow or ice to fall down and away from your house, instead of refreezing. It can also be helpful to install heat trace cables in the gutters, to prevent further freezing. Lastly, you can use a roof rake to remove any snow from the edges of your roof to take preventative action.


All roofs have a weight limit. Some roofs can handle more amounts of snow than others. In addition, wet snow is much heavier than dry snow. One inch of wet snow can contain 2 to 3 times more water than one inch of dry snow, making it that much heavier. When a roof reaches its limit, it might start to bend, leak, or collapse entirely. This can cause incredible amounts of damage to people and items inside the home. If your roof was poorly designed, even small amounts of light snow can be cause for concern.

Warning signs to look for include visible sagging, roof leaks, or hearing your roof creaking. If you see large amounts of snow on your roof, it can be helpful to use a roof rake to remove some and lighten the load on your house. Contact our roofing professionals to schedule a spring inspection and help install the best roof and drainage system for your home’s climate.

Snow on Roof, Des Moines Area Roofing inspection and repairs


Wind can also cause harm to your roof by blowing away shingles and other roofing materials. Your roof’s flashing, ridges, and rakes can also be damaged from wind exposure. The wind can cause hail or other debris to blow into your roof.

Some shingles have a warranty on wind damage up to certain speeds. It can also be beneficial to tend to any trees surrounding your home, and trim any branches that hang over your house, or dead branches that have a higher chance of falling off and blowing into your roof. Des Moines Area Roofing is offering spring roof inspections for your roof to evaluate and install the best preventive measures to avoid roof damage.

If your roof was harmed in any way by the winter weather, give us a call! We’ll come to your home, inspect your roof, and suggest any repairs that it may need. Minor damage can almost always be repaired without replacing the roof. However, no matter the severity of the issue, you can rely on us to be transparent about what we find up there.

Is your roof damaged? Reach out to us for a roof inspection and we will get your roof spring ready!