Most people know that exposure to severe winter weather can be hazardous to people, plants, and animals. But many may not realize that it can also be damaging to the roof of their home, especially if is it constructed with composite shingles. If you are a homeowner with a shingled roof and want to help it survive extreme winter weather and max out its estimated life expectancy, here are some potential issues you should know about.
The appearance of icicles
The combination of silvery icicles and a clear blue sky on a cold winter day is certainly a beautiful sight to behold, but it comes at a cost. Icicles form during freeze and thaw cycles, often becoming several inches in girth and growing to several feet in length.
These massive ice sculptures become very heavy and capable of pulling existing guttering, soffit, and drain pipes away from the home. When this happens, melted snow and ice can no longer be properly channeled away from the roof. Additionally, if the soffit is damaged, moisture can penetrate wooden surfaces and cause the wooden roof sheathing and supporting boards to be damaged. Once these surfaces are compromised, the shingles that cover them can become loosened and allow leaks to form inside the home.
Homeowners who want to help prevent icicles from forming can begin by making sure their guttering is clean and in good condition so that it will be better able to carry excess moisture away from the roof's surface.
Snow and ice buildups on the roof
Build ups of snow and ice on a home's roof lasting more than a few days can become dangerous ice dams capable of doing serious damage to a shingled roof surface. This happens as the ice and snow melts each day and then refreezes each night. Each time the refreezing action takes place, it moisture has the potential to seep under and between roof shingles, forcing them apart, degrading their surface, and causing them to become brittle and worn.
Since this often occurs on areas of the roof that are shaded or those with too little slant, homeowners may want to take proactive steps to alleviate this problem by considering a different style of roof, or using a different roofing material, such as metal that will allow these areas to melt and clear faster.
Homeowners who have concerns about how their shingled roof will fare during winter's extreme weather should take time to discuss their concerns with a reputable residential roofing contractor in their area. These professionals will be able to offer roofing advice specific to the particular climate in which the home is located.