Prepare for Snow and Ice on your Roof

How to prevent roof and gutter damage from ice and snow

There are several ways that ice and snow can damage your roof and gutter. The first is via ice buildup. It prevents melted snow from flowing down the sprouts for proper drainage. The ice and snow stack up, causing the runoff to flow over the gutters, creating long icicles. The second is via ice dams. When snow builds up on the roof, it begins to melt. The runoff enters the gutters and re-freezes. The ice dam takes too long to melt, and the moisture begins to seep beneath the shingles, tar paper, plywood, eventually damaging your roof, soffit, and fascia. How do you keep gutter and roof damage at bay?
1. Ensure that the gutters are securely screwed into the fascia board
This step is extremely necessary if your gutters are over 15 years old. Such gutters were installed using a technique called ‘spike and ferrule’. It stops working a few years down the line. If there is any space between the gutters and fascia, the gutters will begin to deteriorate considerably. The gutters are unable to handle the excess weight, brought about by ice and snow, leading to their damage.

2. Ensure that the gutters are clean
You need to clean your gutters, especially if you do not have a gutter cover system, or if the one that you have is not functional. If you do not clean your gutters, wet leaves can easily clog them. When they start to freeze and then snow and ice are mixed in, your gutters will get damaged.

3. Ensure that the shingles are firmly fastened to the roof
If you have an old roof, the nails or tar that seals the shingles together is likely to be worn out. One way to tell that the shingles have loosened is when the wind causes them to flap. If water gets beneath the shingles and solidifies, it will keep expanding and contracting. This increases the space between the roof, damaging the shingle.

4.Install heating cables at the roof’s bottom
This is applicable if you live in a very cold area. The cables will melt excess snow or ice. They can also keep ice from your roof’s seams and edges. Water cannot damage the roof or enter your home.
What do you do if snow and ice have already accumulated on your roof?

5. Use a roof rake
A roof rake will come in handy to pull excess snow from the roof.

6. Look out for signs of a roof collapse
The last thing that you need to deal with during winter is a roof collapse which wil lead to expense repairs and replacement. Some of the signs of a roof collapse include: having a hard time trying to open doors and windows, creaking and popping sounds. The frames may have been altered due to the extra weight of snow and ice, causing an additional flex.

7. Do not let snow build up
After a storm, it is best to inspect your roof for the accumulation of snow and ice. Do not wait for it to reach unmanageable levels.

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