You often hear from roofers how you have to make sure that your roof is prepared for the winter season. You’ve probably asked yourself how the winter season, even without a storm, can cause damage. In today’s post, local roofing company DryTech Roofing LLC shares a quick guide to understanding roofing damage caused by the winter season.
How Can the Winter Season Cause Roofing Damage?
The greatest threat to roofing systems, regardless of season, is impact and wind damage. While hail is regarded as one of the most common causes of roofing impact damage, it occurs during warm seasons. During winter, impact damage is more likely to be caused by falling branches or airborne debris.
So how can the winter season cause damage to your roofing system?
Brittleness — Certain types of asphalt shingles become brittle and form cracks when exposed to freezing temperatures, exposing the underlying layers to water infiltration. Roofs built with asphalt shingles that are not intended for use in cold climates are prone to this type of damage.
Wind-driven rain — Water infiltration can also happen during a storm. Wind can push rain into areas like the roof edge, shingle overlaps, and roof valleys and into the roof deck. While this can happen during any other time of the year, it’s more complicated during winter. Instead of evaporating, moisture can freeze and expand while remaining trapped under the roof.
Ice dams — Ice dams are caused by insufficient roof insulation. Warm air from the attic can raise the roof temperature and melt the snow on top, which flows down and refreezes at the roof edge. This eventually results in a dam-shaped formation that traps more water, causing it to back up into the roof.
What Can You Do?
Damage from ice and snow may be unavoidable, but there are some things that you can do to keep the damage to a minimum. Your best defense against damage from ice and snow is keeping up with roofing maintenance. Your roof is less likely to suffer from winter damage when it’s not missing components like flashing and shingles. Investing in proper insulation is another thing that you can do, as it helps prevent ice dams and the problems associated with it. Lastly, if your roof is due for replacement, choose a roofing system with high wind ratings, made with materials suited for the local climate.