Ice and Winter Storm Roof Damage: What to do

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Roof covered with snow

Even mild winters can be hard on our homes and leave us facing unexpected maintenance or repairs. Weather extremes such as ice, sleet, freezing rain, snow, and high winds take a heavy toll on our roofs and increase the risk of damage. If you are facing winter storm damage, here is what you need to know to protect your home from potentially costly ice roof damage.

Pre-Storm Checklist

Being proactive with a pre-storm to-do list is the best way to reduce your risk of storm damage. Start inside your home with your attic. Attics need to be properly insulated to distribute heat evenly. This prevents excessive heat loss from your home as well as excessive condensation, which occurs when warm and cold air meet. Condensation can trigger moisture damage. Proper insulation can also prevent excessive ice buildup on the roof, which can add unwanted weight and stress to the entire roof structure. Your insulation should have no gaps, and the baffle vents need to be clear and unobstructed so that the soffit can properly vent.

Your roof also needs to be clear of branches and any other debris. If you have debris built up on your roof, talk to a professional to have it removed. If you have trees close to your home, you should consider trimming them to avoid branches overhanging the roof, which could fall in a wind or ice storm and cause further roof damage.

Missing or damaged shingles need to be replaced before any major weather events. Shingle damage can allow water to infiltrate the underlying structure. Regular inspections by roofing professionals can help you identify minor issues and keep them from spiraling out of control and becoming much bigger problems.

Finally, check your home insurance policy to ensure that it covers winter storm damage and to identify the steps you need to take in case of winter roof damage. Note the contact information of your agent.

Post-Storm Checklist

When a winter storm is in the forecast, keep an eye on the weather and take all precautions to keep yourself and your family safe. After the storm, wait for the ice, snow, or other accumulations to melt before checking your roof for signs of damage. Check from the ground and take all necessary safety precautions. If you have doubts about the safety of your property, contact a roofing company to better evaluate your roof. A roofing company can also perform a comprehensive inspection in high or hard-to-reach areas.

Common issues to look for include:

  • Missing, cracked, or damaged shingles
  • Dented or damaged gutters and flashing
  • Missing granules or bruised shingles
  • Bent, misaligned, or otherwise damaged gutters

Even small flaws can lead to serious water damage after ice storms, so a thorough evaluation is critical to protecting your property.

Take photos of any ice roof damage, and contact a roofer as soon as possible to properly assess any damage and to carry out necessary repairs. You may also need to contact your home insurance provider.

Addressing Winter Storm Roof Damage

Any visible storm damage needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Delaying repair could lead to more significant water damage not just to your roof but your home. Our team can also help you file insurance claims when necessary.

High winds, snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, and other harsh weather are all common in the winter. Preparing for them can prevent unwanted catastrophes. Contact us today to learn more about addressing winter roof damage in Northern Virginia or to schedule an appointment with our team.

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