While Colorado weather is rarely friendly to your roof, winter weather tends to be especially harsh. Winter storms on the Front Range pack a punch, bringing cold temperatures, snow and ice, and high winds—all of which can do serious damage your roof. At CJ Roofing, we stay busy throughout the winter, helping homeowners keep their family safe and filling any winter roofing needs that come our way. To help better prepare you for this harsh season, here are a few of the most common winter roofing issues—and how to deal with them.
A snow-covered home makes for a beautiful winter scene—but too much snow can damage your roofing system, causing leaks and even leading to collapses in extreme cases. Typically, roofs can withstand a great deal of snow, and you won’t need to be concerned until the total accumulation reaches two to four feet or so (depending on how wet it is). If you’re getting concerned, though, most hardware stores sell some form of extendable snow rake, which you can use to clear away the worst of the white stuff.
While somewhat rare, ice dams are one of the most dangerous winter roofing problems homeowners face. Ice dams form when the upper part of an ice-covered roof begins to thaw and melt, while the lower portion stays frozen. This melted water is then trapped and re-frozen along the lower portion, and more water pools behind it. This is a situation ripe for leaks, and ice dams can even break and fall from your roof. Ice dams are difficult to prevent entirely, but one way to combat them is to ensure that your attic is well ventilated so that your roof maintains a relatively consistent temperature.
Condensation forms as a result of warm air meeting a cooler surface. While it can happen outside your home, condensation is winter roofing problem that most often results from warm interior air meeting the cold underside of your roof. This typically leads to mold and mildew in your attic. As with ice dams, this is a problem that can also be addressed by improving your roof’s ventilation, as well as by shoring up the insulation in your attic.
Howling, blustery days are sure to make your face hurt in the winter, but they can also damage your roof. High winds in the winter can damage many parts of your roofing system, by loosening flashing or peeling back shingles. Windy days can also knock down tree branches, and larger branches are likely to make a mark on your roof.
While you can’t do anything to stave off the wind, preparation is the best method to ensure that your roof won’t be damaged by wind. Schedule a roof inspection to check for loose shingles or flashing that might be in danger of coming loose, and trim back tree branches regularly to make sure they won’t fall on your roof.
Icicles are a very common winter roofing problem that has the potential for harm. As with ice dams, icicles form when meltwater from your roof flows downward and re-freezes. Icicles become hazardous as they grow larger. There’s no real way to prevent icicles entirely, but they tend to be worse in homes with poor or compromised roof drainage systems.
Specifically, if your gutters are clogged, water has nowhere to go except to drain down the side of your roof. Clear your gutters before winter sets in, and if large icicles form, (carefully!) knock them down with a long tool such as a snow rake.
CJ Roofing Is Here for Your Winter Roofing Needs!
This is a wonderful time of year in the Rockies, full of winter sports and fun activities, you shouldn’t have to spend the season worrying about your roof. Whether your roof is in need of repair, or if you just want an inspection for some added peace of mind, CJ Roofing can help with all your winter roofing needs. We’ve seen a lot of nasty winters in the 40 years we’ve been in business as Denver metro and Littleton area roofing experts. And as a locally owned company, we know how to make sure your home’s roof can weather winters on the Front Range for years to come. Contact us today for an inspection and quote!