How Ice and Snow Can Impact Your Roof

How heavy snow and ice can impact residential roofs

In harsh Minnesota winters, heavy snowfall can jeopardize the safety and structure of your roof. A large accumulation of snow and ice can put thousands of pounds of pressure on your roof. Some houses are not designed to support that much weight, which can lead to serious problems. 

Here’s what to look out for this winter:

Ice Dams 

Ice and snow can create ice dams, which are a buildup of ice on the edge of your roof. Ice dams occur when the temperature of your roof’s surface is warmer than the eaves and gutters. For example, if snow melts at the highest point of your roof it will run downwards towards your gutters. When the melted snow cannot drain through the gutters, standing water pools and freezes into ice. Then when the ice melts, it could potentially leak through your roof – leading to water damage, water stains on the ceiling, and mold or mildew.  

Roof Stress 

Ice dams are not the only culprit of winter roof damage. Heavy snow falls and ice storms can put severe stress on your roof, which could lead to cave-ins. Some homes built before 1975 may not have enough structural support enough to withstand heavy snow and ice accumulations. Ten inches of fresh snow weighs roughly 5 pounds per square feet. However, when you add packed, wet snow and ice, the wintery mix could exceed your roof’s weight capacity. In fact, one inch of ice on your roof weighs the same as a foot of fresh snow. Signs of a stressed roof include sagging ceiling tiles, cracked walls, strange creaking noises, and leaks.  

What to Do if You Notice Ice Dams or Roof Stress 

If you are concerned about ice dams, a roof cave-in, or other roof damage, do not risk your or your family’s safety. Contact a professional roofing company immediately for a proper inspection. Our GAF Certified team at Wobig Construction will thoroughly inspect the condition of your roof and create a customized solution for a repair or replacement. We are specially trained and certified to assist customers in southeastern Minnesota with roof damage. Contact our team today at 507.398.7879.