Winterize your Roof: The Impact of Snow and Ice

In the cooler seasons we see trends of freezing rain, wintry mixes, snow, and ice, all in a constant cycle of accumulating, thawing and freezing.  These weather conditions can be hard on your home in general, however typically your roof will suffer more than any other part of your house.  Even a new, recently installed roof is severely affected by snow and ice. Knowing what these dangers are and how to minimize the risk can save you time, money and comfort by preventing expensive repairs.


Snow can accumulate quickly, causing stress on your roof from the heavy weight. If the weight exceeds the load-bearing capacity of your roof, it can cave in. When the roof of an average sized home is covered by a layer of snow with a thickness of only 3 inches, the roof carries an additional weight of approximately 4,625 pounds – yikes! The resulting damage will first lead to creaking sounds, then cracks above your windows and doors creating a bowed ceiling and can eventually lead to a complete roof-collapse.


Ice can build up on the eaves of your home as a result of the rising and falling temperatures. The melting snow will run down your roof's edges and re-freeze to the snow, forming an ice dam. This ice dam effect may block your gutters as it sits on top of your roof, preventing the water from finding a pathway off. 

Once the temperature rises further, both ice and snow will melt, and the water has nowhere to go but to seep into the roof. This will lead to rotting of the roof and attic damage, since the presence of extra moisture in the structure initiates mold and mildew growth.


Water that is backed up behind an ice dam will live through a lifecycle of freezing and thawing, and in the process, create cracks on your roof. These cracks are bad news – they can quickly form a prominent presence and create a major and potentially expensive issue. If water seeps into even the tiniest crack, a leak can be formed.

Alternatively, if the water refreezes and doesn’t create a leak, the crack will expand and increase in size. This will cause your roof’s shingles to move, causing even more leaks while simultaneously triggering the growth of mold and mildew. Your drywall, ceilings, floors, and health will suffer greatly from this heavy water damage.

Best Tips for Roof Damage Prevention

1. Prepare in the Fall

Have a professional roofing company like C&R Roofing inspect your roof, vents, valleys, and chimney for leakage points before the winter months come.

Clean out your gutters, insulate and ventilate your attic, and treat your eaves with a liquid de-icer to minimize potential ice damming.

2. Once Winter is Here

Be sure to keep an eye on the snow accumulation on your roof. Frequently remove snow from the roof’s edges with a long-handled roof rake.

Call in the experts at C&R Roofing for help if your roof becomes damaged in any anyway – we can be reached at (404) 409-7536.