3 Common Winter Roof Damage Issues

roof covered in snow

While winter brings skiing, skating and other fun activities, winter weather can also cause serious snow damage to your roof. When you know what to look for and how to manage snowy weather, you can prepare for and prevent severe issues. If you need help with roof damage repair, contact the roofing experts at Beantown Builders for courteous, professional roofing services.

Let’s look at the three most common types of roof damage from snow, ice and winter weather.

1. Ice Dams

As warm or hot air rises, the shingles on your roof warm up, causing the snow on your roof to melt and drip. When the melted snow encounters colder edges, it refreezes. This cycle of thawing and freezing can create an ice dam — a thick ledge of ice. Eventually, melting snow can’t get beyond this ledge and backs up, creating a larger barrier. As the situation continues, the ice dam blocks the flow of water, allowing water under your shingles.

Ice dams can cause water damage and leaks in your home. When water gets into crevices and then freezes and thaws, small gaps in your roof expand and make leaks worse. The longer you allow an ice dam to sit on your roof, the worse the potential damage. Large ice dams can also harm the integrity of your roof.

The best way to avoid ice dams is to properly insulate your attic and roof, which will prevent your shingles from getting too warm. A reliable gutter and downspout system, along with heat cables to encourage proper water flow, keeps water from collecting and freezing on your roof. If snow does gather on the edges of your roof, you can use a roof rake to remove the snow before it freezes.

Already have an ice dam or related damage on your roof? Contact Beantown Builders for a thorough analysis and professional suggestions for how to save your roof.

2. Leaks and Damage

While you know that leaks are the most obvious sign of roof woes, what you can’t see is the damage leaks cause to your home’s interior. Water leaks are a sign of a damaged roof, ice dams and snow buildup. Animals and pests in your roof can also cause damage that leads to leaks.

Leaks are unpleasant, leading to water damage and even black mold under ceilings and in walls. A water leak around your foundation can even affect the structural integrity of your home.

You can prevent leaks and damage with proper roof maintenance before winter sets in. If you notice missing shingles, pests or other issues, contact a professional. Make sure your gutters are clear and angled so water runs away from your roof and down a waterspout. While icicles may be pretty, they’re also a sign that your gutters aren’t working as they should. You should also ensure that the area around your foundation is angled so that water flows away from your home.

If a leak does develop, contact a roofing professional right away. The longer the leaks continue, the greater the water and mold damage. A professional from Beantown Builders will fix the leak fast to prevent further damage, make your home more energy-efficient and eliminate gaps where animals could get in.

3. Heavy Snow Damage and Roof Collapse

Even though snowflakes look light and fluffy, enough snow is heavy enough to cause serious damage to your roof, especially if wet snow, sleet, hail and freezing rain are in the mix. Every roof has a weight limit, including flat and angled roofs. Once ice and snow exceed that limit, your roof could be in trouble.

Heavy snow can cause ceilings to buckle, creak or leak. In some cases, snow can cause a roof to collapse, leading to severe injury and damage inside the home.

The best way to prevent heavy snow accumulation is to work with an experienced roofer who will install the right roof for your climate and ensure proper drainage. If you notice any signs of sagging or hear any creaking, contact a professional immediately. If your roof may be in danger, you’ll want an expert roofer to evaluate the situation immediately.

Steps to Take to Fix Your Roof After Damage Occurs

If ice buildup on your roof is causing leaks or you notice another problem, go outside and take a look at your roof. Can you see any obvious signs of trouble? Try to take a few photos from the ground if possible. Take photos of any damage inside your home, too. These pictures can help insurance companies and roofers evaluate the issue.

Do not try to fix your roof yourself. In the winter and spring, your roof is dangerously slippery and you could seriously injure yourself. Trying to access your roof if it’s damaged can also further damage your roof.

The best solution is to contact a roofing professional to explain what you’ve seen or heard. A Beantown Builders professional can evaluate and diagnose the problem and take steps to protect you now, fix the issue and prevent future damage.

If water damage from a roof leak has affected your home’s interior, take steps to protect your valuables. Move your belongings out of the way, wipe up any leaks and catch leaking water in a bucket to prevent further damage. If you suspect the presence of black mold, call a mold remediation expert to take a look at your house’s interior. Replace any damaged drywall, ceilings and floors and fans. You can use a dehumidifier to remove any excess moisture in your home.

Outside your home, if you notice an ice dam, icicles or snow hanging over the edge of your roof, place a sign to alert visitors of the danger. Park your car well away from the ice and snow until a roofing professional can address the issue. If necessary, you can use an alternate entrance to your home, such as an entrance inside an attached garage, to avoid walking under hazardous ice and snow.

Does Insurance Cover Roof Damage From Snow?

If snow has harmed your roof, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover some of the damage, especially if it occurred due to an ice storm or blizzard. Even if regular snowfall damages your roof, you may be able to file a claim.

Read your policy carefully to determine what is and is not covered. If you had an older roof when you applied for insurance, some policies might exclude specific types of damage. Working with a qualified roofing professional can help you file a claim. Beantown Builders has worked with insurance adjusters before and our professionals can clearly explain the damage to your insurance company.

Contact Beantown Builders

If you notice any roofing damage or hear any creaking or groaning from your roof, contact the roofing experts at Beantown Builders to request a quote immediately. Beantown Builders is known as one of the premier restoration and roof repair companies in Boston, MA, with a team of licensed and insured craftsmen and professionals who will repair your roof and help your household stay safe.

Our goal is always to provide the highest caliber service and ensure your home gets quality repairs that enhance your property’s beauty, safety and structural integrity. Our full-service approach also means we can repair any mold, electrical damage and other issues caused by a leaking or damaged roof. Reach out today!