Seasonal Roofing Tips

How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof

Stephen Vernon
April 3, 2023

Snow and ice can significantly impact your roof in several ways, potentially leading to damage if not properly managed. Here's how:

Freeze-Thaw Cycles

Repeated thawing and freezing of snow and ice can cause roofing materials to expand and contract, leading to cracks and gaps where water can seep in and cause damage.

Weight Stress:

Heavy snowfall can add a significant amount of weight to your roof, exceeding its load-bearing capacity. This can lead to structural damage or, in extreme cases, roof collapse.


Although often considered a winter staple, icicles can be dangerous. They add extra weight to the eaves and can damage gutters and downspouts. If they fall, they can injure people or pets below.

Blocked Ventilation

Snow and ice can block roof vents, hindering proper attic ventilation. This can cause heat and moisture to build up in the attic, leading to mold growth and weakened roof structures over time.

Ice Dams

What is an ice dam? According to the University of Minnesota Extension, an ice dam is, "an ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas."

Ice dams occur when heat from the attic melts snow on the roof, causing water to run down and refreeze at the roof's edge where it's colder. This ice buildup can prevent proper drainage, forcing water back under the shingles and into the home, causing water damage to the roof, insulation, walls, and ceilings.

Damage During Snow and Ice Removal

If you try to remove snow yourself, be careful as it could be easy to puncture your shingles or even the roof's waterproof membrane which would be caused by an extra hard scrape to remove the buildup. You'll want to make sure that you take extra care of your roof around the winter season. Here are some good winter maintenance tips. If you have any doubts, call a roofing professional today!

Let Cenvar Roofing handle your roofing needs

Call us today or submit an estimate request to have us come out and assess if your roof has any damage or even to give you an inspection. Check out our other roofing blog posts to learn more about the winter season and roofing!

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