How Snow and Ice Affect Your Roof

It’s officially winter, and snow, ice and cold have settled into Central Iowa. While often taken for granted during these colder months, your roof is currently protecting you and your family from these harsh winter conditions. However, winter is especially hard on roofs, and snow and ice can have a negative impact on your roof’s longevity. 

To ensure your roof lasts for as long as possible and properly protects your home, it’s important to understand exactly how winter conditions affect your roof and what can be done to prevent damage. 

The Impact of Snow and Ice on a Roof

  1. Stress From Additional Weight. The weight of accumulating snow and ice on your roof causes stress. This heavy downward force is the most common culprit of roof damage in winter. It can cause your roof to sag, leak or – worst-case scenario – cave in. 
  2. Ice Dams. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from properly draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the ice dam can leak into your home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and more. 
  3. Freeze and Thaw Cycles. Just like freeze and thaw cycles wreak havoc on roads in the form of cracks and potholes, they can also severely damage your roof. If your roof has gaps or cracks, water will find its way in and expand when it freezes. This process will tear off shingles and/or cause larger cracks. 

Preventing Winter Roof Damage

Proper maintenance is key to protecting your roof and ensuring it lasts for as long as possible. Here are some other ways to protect your roof and the rest of your home from the winter elements: 

  1. Roof Inspection. If you have areas of concern, hire a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof and make necessary repairs
  2. Clean Your Roof. Clean your roof thoroughly at the end of fall and beginning of spring. This ensures nothing is on your roof or clogging your gutters when the snow and ice arrive. 
  3. Roof Replacement. While some roofs may only need a small repair to prevent damage to the rest of your home, other roofs might require a total replacement. If you're considering a roof replacement, make sure you hire a professional roofing company in Des Moines

If you need a new roof or roof repairs in Des Moines or the surrounding area, reach out to the roofing experts at RoofSmart today!