Did Winter Wreck Your Shingled Roof? What Homeowners Should Know

With a particularly severe winter now coming to a close and spring just ahead, homeowners will soon be planning to take care of any home maintenance needs that may have arisen during the inclement weather. In addition to cleaning up the lawn and checking for broken limbs on the trees, it is a good idea to also check the roof for the following types of weather damage. 

Gutter damage

The heat from direct sunshine acts to cause the ice and snow on the roof to melt, even on the coldest days of winter. The melted snow and ice drips into the gutters on your home, and then refreezes after sundown. The repeating cycle of freezing and thawing can cause heavy layers of ice to build up in the gutters. This weight can then force gutters to pull away from the home, sometimes damaging shingles and other parts of the roof during the process. If gutter damage is found, it is important that homeowners also carefully look for signs of roof damage that may have happened at the same time.

Damaged shingles 

Freezing weather, combined with sharp gusts of wind and several inches of snow and ice can serve to make roofing shingles brittle and more subject to damage. Homeowners who notice cracked, broken, or missing shingles on their roof after winter will want to arrange to replace the damaged ones as soon as possible to prevent the possibility of leaks. 

Snow load damage

If the home is located in one of the areas that received several inches of snow and ice, one or more times during the winter, it is a good idea to examine the roof for damage that may have occurred from the weight of the snow. This is especially important if you were not able to clear off the roof to reduce the stress from the weight of the accumulated snow and ice that had settled there. 

The amount of snow load that your roof can safely withstand is determined by the pitch of the roof and the depth and weight of the snow. Homeowners who are not familiar with snow load calculations can get the information they need by asking their home insurance agent or a roofing repair or installation contractor.

Snow load can cause easily visible damage, such as when all or part of a roof collapses, but it can also cause latent damage that may require a professional inspection by a licensed roofing contractor to find. Some possible forms of latent roof damage from snow load include cracked or warped rafters. Homeowners who find that their homes have suffered serious damage from snow load should know that there is a possibility that the weakened roof could collapse and should consider moving their family out of the home until repairs are completed. 

For more information, reach out to companies like Melton Industries LLC.