While going through a particularly bad winter, you may be concerned about the impact the snow and ice may be having on your home's roof. You may wonder if there is anything you can do to either minimize the damage or catch any that may have already been done before it gets worse. If so, use the following tips to keep your roof maintained through the winter months.
1. Remove Any Fallen Debris
When winter storms come with high winds or heavy downfalls of ice, there is always the possibility that branches, leaves, and other debris will fall on your roof. If it becomes stuck in the snow or ice and remains there, this debris can eventually damage your roof.
If leaves, pine needles, branches, and other debris lie on your roof, they can trap moisture underneath them. Even after the snow and ice have thawed, these patches will remain wet longer, which then keeps the shingles from drying out.
If your shingles are unable to thaw out, the moisture can cause two possible problems. First, the constant moisture can lead to faster deterioration of the shingles. Second, if the temperatures drop below freezing, the ice that permeates the shingles can expand and cause them to crumble.
If the debris is close to the edge of the roof, you may try to remove it yourself by waiting for a sunny, dry day. However, if you are unable to reach the debris or do not feel comfortable attempting to do so, contact a roofing company that offers cleaning and maintenance services to see if they can help you out.
2. Keep the Snow Cleared off the Edges
Another problem with wintry weather that can adversely affect your roof is the buildup of snow along the edges. However, it is not the weight of the snow that is the problem, unless you have received several feet of snow.
Even if the temperatures stay below freezing, the heat from the roof and the warmth of the sun will at least partially melt the snow, causing water to run off of the roof. However, once night time comes and the temperatures drop even further, this water freezes up again.
If this cycle of thawing and refreezing keeps happening, ice dams will start to form around the edges of your roof. The bottoms of these ice dams will stick tightly on the shingles, and the water that keeps running over them will create icicles.
When these icicles form, one of two things can happen that could lead to breakage of the shingles near the edges of your roof. First, the sheer weight of the ice will break off part of one of the ice dams, causing the shingles underneath to break or crumble. Second, if one or more icicle is knocked into, or if you decide to try to break them off yourself, the same scenario will happen. So, if you do see icicles, do not try to remove them. Instead, try to keep the ice dams from forming in the first place. One way you can do this is to keep the snow a few feet from the edges of the roof cleared away. However, do not try to do this while going up on the slippery roof or ladder. Instead, use a snow rake, or hire a roofing professional to do the job for you.
If you find any signs on damage on your roof after a storm, do not wait to have it repaired to reduce the risk of further damage and possible leaks. Contact a roofing company to inspect your roof and offer you suggestions for repairing any damage that they may find.