Common Roof Problems in the Winter

Common Roof Problems in the Winter

Winter is a season that can be especially brutal on your home’s roof. The cold season is known for creating all types of challenging weather like rain, hail, snow, ice, and more which can all wear down even the best designed custom-built roof. To avoid damage and problems that can occur in the winter, you should know about the most common roofing problems that can occur during this season.

Formation of Condensation

Condensation occurs when there is some sort of buildup of moisture in this is usually due to warm air when it meets a cold surface. Without the proper insulation in your attic, condensation can build up on the shingles as well as the interior structure of your home and create a lot of damage.

Your attic should also be properly ventilated to prevent condensation. Some roof designs include intake and exhaust vents to prevent condensation. Common types of damage from condensation include the need to replace damaged shingles. Sometimes, mold and mildew will build up and colonize the interior structure, grow, and spread to create further damage to the home’s interior.

Ice Dams

As heat rises through your ceiling into the attic, it escapes through the ceiling. If there is heavy snow on your roof and the heat rises to the top of the ceiling, an ice dam will form. An ice dam occurs when a slab of ice builds up on the lower sections of your roof along the gutters and trim.

When water begins to collect behind the dam, there is a chance that it will leak through the roofing material into your home causing all types of damage. Ice dams can also damage shingles and weaken or destroy gutters which require costly repairs. Ice dams can be prevented with proper attic air flow, insulation, and ventilation.

Damaged/Leaky Flashing

Flashing is the pieces of metal seen on roofs where elements intersect like where shingles meet a chimney or a skylight. These pieces of metal protect that area so that water is directed away. You will also find flashings along the roof ridges and front edge corners.

Flashing is not as strong as shingles when it comes to durability. When it gets exposed to water, it can start to loosen and pull away. As the flashing gets pulled away from the other roofing material that it is attached to, leaks will occur.


When you have a mixture of sub-freezing temperatures and sunny days, this is the perfect combination for icicles. Although they look beautiful in Christmas photos and perfect for taking selfie shots, icicles can pose a real danger for everyone including your pets. The excessive weight of icicles can cause roofing damage and lead to further damage from the possible buildup of an ice dam. Icicles can even pull your gutters off the roof completely.

Snow Buildup

An excessive amount of snow can be very damaging to your roof. Not only does the accumulation of snow put extra weight on the roof’s structure, but it also creates water pools when it melts. As long as this water continues to pool on your roof, there is a potential for it to penetrate the shingle layer.

Flat roofs have more problems with snow build-up because it is easier for water to pull up and penetrate the roof since there is little to no slope for the water to easily run off. Regardless of the type of roof your home has, regular maintenance should be done to ensure that snow does not build up and cause damage to your home.

Winter Winds

Wind damage is very common in the winter months. Powerful wind storms and blizzards can kick up randomly and loosen and even rip off roof shingles. Roof damage can often happen because of serious winter winds. If the roof is old and needs maintenance, it may not be able to handle a fierce wind storm. Make sure to inspect the shingles in your home to see if there are ripped or torn off shingles. If so, you should have your roof repaired as soon as possible.

Correct Winter Roofing Problems Now

Protecting your home in the winter should be a top priority. When it comes to maintaining your home during winter, you should start with your roof. The winter months can be particularly brutal on your roof, and there are common roof problems that can occur. Make sure to do the proper maintenance on your home and contact a professional to make sure that you avoid these common roof problems in the winter.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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