Your home’s roof has a big job to do. It must withstand heavy rains, snow, and icing in the harshest of weather. Roofing usually holds up well under these conditions, but over time, materials can weaken. Heavy snowfall can put these materials to the test. Here are a few ways that snow can damage your roof and cause expensive damage to your home.

Uneven Weight of Heavy Snow

The moisture content in heavy, wet snow puts considerable pressure on roofing materials and their underlying structures. When snowpacks unevenly on the roof surface, it can put stress on areas that might be weak. This can lead to the collapse of the roof in the stressed area. Damage can be expensive and may require a complete roof replacement to restore roofing to proper condition.

Ice Dams

Many people may not have heard about “ice dams” until the problem damages their own homes. Ice dams are a ridge of ice that builds up along the edge of a roof that forms when melting snow turns to ice during a hard freeze. This can occur when temperatures fluctuate significantly after a heavy snowfall. The ice dam then prevents the next melting of snow from reaching the gutter system to be directed away from the roof. The water builds up behind the dam and can penetrate roofing materials, as well as the interior of the home. Repairing damage from ice dams can be expensive.

Melting Snow Deteriorating Underlying Structures

Over time, older homes may experience weakness in the construction materials that are underneath the roof caused by moisture from heavy rains and snow. The water can seep into these materials causing damage to underlayments and rotting of wood structures. This problem can lead to moisture that begins to creep into home interiors. You may begin to see staining of the ceilings inside your home that indicates deterioration of the roofing or construction materials.

Damage From Snow Removal Efforts

Homeowners that try to remove heavy snow from the roof may inadvertently damage roofing materials, which can lead to failure of the roof. You should always use appropriate snow rakes or brooms to remove snow from your roof and use recommended techniques, to prevent damage to roofing materials.

Homeowners should do regular maintenance on their roofing materials to avoid expensive damage to the roof and to materials inside the home. Cleaning, periodic inspection, and proper snow removal techniques can help to prevent damage from snow during the harsh winter months.