Winter Storm Roof Damage: When to Call a Contractor

Winter storm roof damage is possible even for the strongest roofs. Utah’s snowstorms and frigid, windy nights can compromise your roof’s security, so you need to know when it’s time to call a roofing contractor. Fast repairs can limit damage, and your contractor will know exactly what to do.

Winter Roof Damage

Winter Is a Harsh Season

We’ve entered the season of winter storm roof damage threats. Extreme weather is your roof’s primary enemy.

Here are four main causes of winter storm roof damage:

Ice Dams

An ice dam forms when snow melts on your roof but refreezes before it has a chance to drain through the gutter system. This builds up a “dam” that blocks further snowmelt from draining away. The newly melted snow backs up under the shingles, seeps into the roof deck and spreads quickly, causing water damage and mold growth.

Heavy Snow Load

Roofs are built to withstand snow, but sometimes Mother Nature dumps more precipitation on top of your home than the roof can handle. Once the weight starts reaching 20 to 25 pounds per square foot of roof space, homeowners should start being concerned. Since snow typically weighs 1.25 pounds per inch, once the snow piles up to 20 inches, the roof is nearing maximum weight capacity. Keep in mind that ice weighs more than snow, so removing it well before it reaches this height is recommended if the roof load contains a significant amount of ice.

High Winds

A strong wind can inflict serious damage. It can blow off flashing and shingles, leaving the decking exposed and vulnerable to ice and snow. Wind combined with unrelenting precipitation may have you calling your roofer.

Falling Trees and Branches

Your tree branches may not stand a chance against wind, rain, snow and ice. Falling trees and branches can severely damage not only the surface, but also the structure, of your roof.

Prevention: What Can You Do?

First, make sure your attic has enough ventilation. A cool attic will prevent snowmelt and limit the negative effects of ice dams.

Second, keep an eye on the forecast. If it looks like you’ll be getting heavy, wet snow, schedule an appointment with a professional snow removal company for after the storm. They will come and relieve the strain on your home.

Third, trim branches and remove old, dead trees from around your home. Eliminate all threats to your roof, and you’ll have less winter storm roof damage to worry about.

Signs of Trouble: Call Your Roofer

Persistent ice damming is definitely a sign you need to call a roofing contractor. They will evaluate your attic ventilation and plan a permanent fix. The sooner you call, the sooner you can stop further water damage.

If you notice that your home is starting to sag under the weight of heavy snow, call your roofer. You may also notice that the doors and windows in your home are becoming harder to open. Any sign of too much weight warrants a complete inspection to guard against roof collapse.

Finally, missing shingles or flashing or serious damage from falling trees calls for immediate attention from your roofing contractor. Salvaging your roof may be possible if you act quickly enough.

Trust the Roof Doctor to help you resolve winter storm roof damage this season — call today for an appointment.