Preventing A Damaged Roof This Winter

December 21, 2020 • Prevention, Safety Tips

prevent damaged roof this winterWinter Can Bring Unexpected Roof Damage

Here in South Jersey, winter often comes with unpredictable weather patterns. One day it’s 55º and sunny, the next there could be a snow storm. With the holidays approaching quickly, it can be easy to get caught up in all the holiday preparations and end up neglecting some other important winter home maintenance tasks. With all that has happened this year, we want to remind everyone how important preventing a damaged roof is going to be this winter (and every winter.) 


How Can You Tell If Your Home Has A Damaged Roof? 

Whenever there is a snow storm, everyone grabs their shovels and salt and gets to work on the sidewalk. However, what about all the snow on your roof? With so much snow and ice built up on the roof of your home, the weight of it all can lead to a severely damaged roof. Your roof could begin to sag under the weight, shingles could become damaged, or there could even be a leak that you are unaware of. The good news is, there are some “life hacks” that could help you determine if there is too much weight on your roof. The first thing you’ll want to do is identify an interior door at about the center of the home. Notice whether or not the door is sticking to the frame. If it is, this is an indicator that there is too much snow and ice weighing down your roof. This can actually cause damage to parts of your home other than the roof as well, as doors can become misshapen under the weight. Any structural damage that your home has endured due to wintery conditions must be corrected as soon as possible. This damage can lead to other issues within the home such as damaged gutters, a damaged roof, roof leakage, water intrusion and even mold development.


Winter Conditions On Roof Can Be Dangerous

prevent ice and snow from causing a damaged roof For the most part, South Jerseyans are not attempting to clear off their own roof. It can be very dangerous even during other seasons, but especially during winter. The ice could cause you to slip and fall and get severely injured. If you live in a rancher/one-story home, you may even be able to get some of the snow off with a long rake or broom. Should you decide to take matters into your own hands, it is important that you are aware of the risks. However, we do highly recommend that when clearing ice and snow off your roof, you leave it to the professionals. Without the proper knowledge and equipment, you may end up doing more harm than good to your roof.


Potential For Damaged Roof, Mold & More 

Bear in mind that the objective when keeping your roof clear is to simply remove the bulk of what is weighing your roof down, not to get every little snowflake off. Excess weight on your roof due to ice and snow can lead to damage such as:

  • Structural Damage: The weight of the snow and ice on your roof can cause structural damage not only to the roof itself, but other areas of the home as well. This damage can lead to a multitude of issues within the property, including mold, cracks and leakage, caving wall voids and misshapen doorways. 
  • Damage To Gutters & Downspouts: Your gutters and downspouts take the brunt of the damage when it comes to snow and ice. Gutters are not meant to support so much weight, so it is possible for them to become bent or even broken under the weight of the ice and snow. Not only that, the ice and snow can become compacted inside the gutter and downspout along with any existing debris. This will clog the gutter and it will be unable to drain, which will lead to even more build up overtime, causing an even more damaged roof.
  • Roof Leakage: With the potential damage to your roof, there is a possibility that when the ice and snow begin to melt that you will see roof leakage coming into the interior of your home. This can lead to mold and other moisture issues in the future if it is not properly dealt with. 
  • Frozen Attic: Attics tend to harbor a lot of excess moisture, due to the fact that they are often dank and musty with improper ventilation. This moisture can sometimes freeze during the cold winter months and then thaw back out when it gets warm again. Keep an eye out for any dark staining on the walls of your attic.

Do Your Best To Prevent A Damaged Roof This Winter 

Keeping your roof clear of ice and snow is the best thing you can do to prevent a damaged roof. As previously stated, it is best to have the professionals take care of this for you. However, should you attempt to do it yourself, ensure that you are taking all the necessary safety precautions to ensure that you don’t get injured. Keep yourself and your home safe this winter!

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