Common Roof Problems in the Winter – part 1

Common Roof Problems with snow and man

Man on roof with snow shovel

What are some of the most common roof problems in the winter? – Part 1

Most people immediately think about ice dams.  But there are other issues which can be quite common.

Falling.  Serious fall injuries and even death occurs as people climb on their roof and attempt to clear the snow off.   Secondary damage can be caused by people chopping or hitting their roof to try to get rid of ice.  While the ice might break free, there is a real chance that the shingles or gutters will take damage.  Frequent hacking at the roof or yanking ice off the gutters can lead to water penetration into the roof where the gutters pull away.

Blocked Vents.  Snow-blocked plumbing vents will create drainage problems and even sewer gas backups into the home.  Sewer gas is not only smelly and unsanitary but an explosion risk.  Make sure all vents are tall enough to stay out of the snow.

Cracked or Broken Shingles.  Even when someone does not fall off the roof, when they climb around on frozen shingles they can snap “like a pine needle in the wintertime”.  Walking on older roofs when it is cold or they are frozen almost assures damage.

Snow. Plain and simple, it gets heavy and gets heavy fast!   Accumulated snow, particularly in the early spring when heavy snow coverings absorb rain can quickly become very heavy and cause major damage.  A roof’s core components such as rafters or trusses can break under the strain.  Newer homes with “up to date” or code conforming structures are less likely to break under the weight of snow; but older homes or those where the builder or roofer took shortcuts can easily crack under the strain.

Next up part 2 of Common Roof Problems in the the Winter….

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