The Dynamics of Snow and Ice on Your Roof

Residential | January 26, 2017  | By: Joyland Roofing

A good roof keeps rain and snow out of your house. That’s pretty obvious. But it does a lot more than that. A roof’s functions are more complex than you might think. Understanding how your roof works in the winter can help you plan ahead to prevent storm damage and roof repair after installing a new roof.

In the winter, your roof is staying busy, and not just holding up snow. There are quite a few ways winter weather can threaten your roof.House with snow on roof surrounded by snowy trees and bushes

How Can Winter Weather Threaten Your Roof?

Houses are typically built to withstand a normal snow load for their area, but if they don’t have a good roof, winter build-up can occur behind things like chimneys and skylights. Valleys also collect a lot of snow and ice. That kind of build-up is one reason why a quality shingling job is so important.

Even before the shingling, the under-layer that’s applied to your roof is crucial for protecting your home, and should never be neglected. Ice and Water shield applied under your shingles at potential build-up points like chimneys, pipes, skylights, valleys, and eaves adds a critical layer of winter protection and can prevent future roof damage repair costs. Unlike flat roofing, which uses rubber roofing material, your home’s roof relies on layering of roof materials to keep you warm and dry.

Ice and water shield is invisible under your shingles, and so is the process that causes ice buildup to damage your roof.

In the winter, your house is warm (hopefully), and since warm air rises, it ends up in your attic space. If your roof is properly vented, this hot air escapes without causing any damage. But if your house isn’t well vented, the hot air continues to gather in the attic space and can reach surprisingly high temperatures. This heat trapped right below the roof can melt the snow on the roof, which runs down to the eaves, turning into ice. This ice building up on your roof can work its way under your shingles eventually rot out the roof underneath

A roof that performs perfectly in summer may still be in danger of damage in the winter when the demands of the weather are different. This is why a great all-season roofing job is crucial.

How a Roofing Contractor Prevents Ice & Snow Damage

A quality roofing company will prevent all these issues by:

  • Installing shingles correctly to prevent damage in high-load areas like above chimneys or skylights and in valleys.
  • Installing a correct under-layer on your roof, including ice and water shield, to prevent moisture under shingles.
  • Installing a state-of-the-art venting system to keep hot air from building up in your attic space.

Learn How to Prepare Your Roof for Winter

At Joyland Roofing, we’ve been installing roofs to survive all kinds of weather for decades. We’ve seen the worst that Pennsylvania winters can throw at you, and we’d love to help prepare your roof for any and all conditions. Call us at 717-459-3499 or use our online form for a free consultation to learn how winter weather might be affecting your roof.

    Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor License (HIC) # PA124258