Roofing Risks to Be Aware of During the Winter

When the winter season arrives, you will likely work hard to get your home ready for the change in temperatures and climate. However, don't stop at tending to your plumbing or getting your yard ready; you also need to be aware of potential roofing risks. Here are some risks to be aware of with your roof during cold temperatures so that you can work to avoid them.

Snow and Ice Build-Up

The first major risk you have in the winter is having snow and ice build-up on your roof, including on the shingles or tiles, as well as in the gutters and downspouts. When the snow starts to accumulate on your roof, you have no choice but to head up to the roof and start shoveling it off. You don't want to wait too long, or you will be dealing with ice dams and a variety of other issues. The snow build-up can risk your own safety since you need to shovel it on your own unless you pay a contractor to do it for you. Having ice on the roof could mean permanent damage to your roofing materials, which then requires replacing them.

Ice Dams

Ice dams are one of the biggest risks to your roof in the winter season. Not only does the snow and ice build-up lead to a risk of them developing, but the dams are also difficult to remove. Ice dams form when there is snow on your roof that melts prematurely, often from the roof being too hot due to lack of attic ventilation. When this happens, the snow melts and starts running down to the roof to the edge or the gutter, but it is still cold enough outside for it to re-freeze. This is what causes the ice dams. You need to make sure they are removed very carefully so as not to damage the roofing materials.


The snow, ice, and water that tends to be common in the winter season can also put you at risk of leaks. Whether the snow and ice caused new damage that led to a leak, or you already had a crack that simply got worse due to the heavy winds and rain, the harsh weather conditions really raise this risk. This is not only going to cause more damage to your roof and underlayment, but to your attic and interior of your home as well. Even if you have quality rain gutters, having a hole or crack in the ceiling could mean a lot of rainwater ends up inside your home, damaging the furniture, ceiling, walls, and flooring.