5 Common Roofing Problems in Winter & How to Address Them

Chances are, you’ve already encountered these common roofing problems in winter.

During winter in Northern California, the chill isn’t just felt by us, but also by our homes, particularly the roofs that shield us from the elements. 

Winter brings unique challenges for roofs and being prepared can save you from costly repairs and headaches down the line. 

So, here are some of the most common winter roof problems and how to address them:

common roofing problems in winter

Common Roofing Problems in Winter:

1. Ice Dams: These icy buildups form at the edge of your roof where warm air escaping the attic melts the snow. As the melted water travels down, it encounters colder sections, refreezing and forming ice dams. This can lead to:

  • Water backup: Ice dams can block gutters, preventing melted snow from draining properly. This water backup can seep under shingles, causing leaks and potential structural damage.

  • Shingle damage: The constant freezing and thawing cycle can cause shingles to crack, curl, and ultimately fail.

2. Flashing Leaks: Flashing is the thin metal used to seal vulnerable areas on your roof, like around chimneys, skylights, and valleys. During winter, the constant freeze-thaw cycle can cause them to become loose or cracked, leading to leaks.

3. Freezing Gutters: Clogged gutters filled with leaves and debris can easily freeze during winter, leading to:

  • Water backup: Ice dams can form on your roof as melted snow gets trapped in frozen gutters.

  • Overweighting: The weight of ice in frozen gutters can strain the gutter system and potentially cause it to detach from the house.

4. Condensation: When warm, moist air from your home encounters the cold underside of your roof, condensation can occur. This can lead to:

  • Mold and mildew growth: Excess moisture can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can pose health risks and damage your roof structure.

  • Rotting of wooden components: Sustained exposure to moisture can cause the wooden trusses and rafters supporting your roof to rot, compromising the structural integrity of your roof.

5. Hail Damage:
While less common than the other problems, hail storms can cause significant damage to your roof, including:

  • Dents and cracks: Hailstones can leave dents and cracks in your shingles, compromising their waterproofing ability.

  • Shingle punctures: Large hailstones can puncture through shingles, creating an immediate pathway for water infiltration.

How to Address Roof Problems in Winter:

There are many ways how to address these common roofing problems in winter and keep your roof in top shape. Here are some of them:

  1. Ventilation and Insulation: Ensure your attic has proper ventilation to prevent warm air build-up. If needed, install vents. Improve your attic’s insulation to minimize heat loss, reducing strain on your roof.


  2. Clean Gutters: Remove leaves and debris regularly, especially before winter. Consider installing gutter guards to prevent clogging, which can lead to ice dams and leaks.


  3. Schedule Inspections: Hire a professional to inspect your roof before winter arrives. This allows for early detection and repair of any potential problems.


  4. Choose Resilient Materials: When it’s time to replace your roof, invest in durable materials that can withstand winter weather, such as metal roofs or impact-resistant shingles.


  5. Prioritize Safety and Seek Help: Never take unnecessary risks in icy conditions. If you suspect roof damage (leaks, ice dams, etc.), contact the best roofing contractors immediately for assessment and repairs.

Choose Northern Counties Roofing Systems for Professional Inspection & Repair!

With over 20 years of experience, our team knows exactly how to handle these common roofing problems in winter. From improving ventilation and cleaning gutters to professional inspections and choosing the right materials, we’ve got your back. Contact us today to schedule your roof assessment!

Northern Counties Roofing Systems

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