Regardless of how new or old a roof is, no roof is 100% safe during a long winter season of inclement weather and below-freezing temperatures. Winter is one of the toughest seasons for a roof, especially in the coastal Delaware region where storms bring high winds, ice, and snow accumulation. Without proper preparation and maintenance of your roof, repairs can easily incur high costs.

Let’s review some of the most common winter roof damages, how to identify them, and the best course of action you can take.

Moisture Complications

Moisture infiltration is a significant concern for any homeowner in any part of the home. When moisture seeps into the home, it can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can cause unpleasant odors and unsightly stains. The presence of mold can also indicate that conditions are ripe for decay fungi that can cause wood rot and structural damage to your home.

Moisture infiltration from your roof can be a large and costly complication. After a snowstorm, it’s not uncommon for ice dams to form on the edge of the roof. As snow melts and flows down from the top of the roof, it gets trapped by the ice dam. Freezing temperatures will cause pooling water to solidify and increase the size of the ice dam. As time goes on, water will continue to flow down, freeze, and back up underneath roof shingles.

The best way to avoid damage caused by moisture and ice dams is to remove snow from your roof after a snowstorm. You’ll also want to remove the ice dams so any water runoff has free passage off the roof.

Gutter Problems

Most homeowners dread removing leaves and debris from their gutters in the fall, but it is necessary when preparing your home for winter weather.

As the snow melts on the roof, the water runoff needs a clear passage to properly drain and flow away from the home. If leaves, branches, and other debris are blocking the gutters, the water will pool and likely freeze to create ice dams, which can put unnecessary stress on your gutters. Often, the weight of the ice can pull the gutters from the roof, possibly damaging both the gutters and eaves. Pooled water can also collect and freeze inside the gutters, causing them to expand and crack.

The best course of action is prevention. In the fall, make sure to remove any blockages in your gutters that might trap melted snow. It might be helpful to install gutter guards to help prevent debris from entering the gutters.

Roof Collapse Risks

Among all winter roof damages, roof collapse is the most dangerous and expensive complication. While roof collapse isn’t as common for newly constructed homes or homes with new roofs, it is still a threat to be mitigated.

Roofs are built with “load-bearing weight,” which is the measure of how much weight the roof can withstand. If the weight of accumulated snow exceeds the maximum weight, materials can weaken and break down, eventually leading to partial or full roof collapse. If you notice sagging of interior ceilings, especially in an attic, or experience difficulty opening doors or windows after a snowstorm, your home may be at risk of roof collapse.

The best way to prevent and minimize the risk of roof collapse is to maintain and repair your roof as needed. Roof inspections should be done yearly to identify and address weak spots and concerns before they become full-blown problems in need of repair. If you are experiencing signs of roof collapse, contact a contractor immediately to address the issue.

Here at Advance Inc., we are happy to provide our customers and community with exceptional services and resources they can trust. If you’re in need of roof repair after this winter season, contact us today. You can also browse our website for our available services.