Common Winter Roofing Issues and How to Deal With Them

Common Winter Roofing Issues and How to Deal With Them

Winter weather is rarely a friend to the homes and businesses in New England. Roofs are especially vulnerable to weather conditions like snow, ice, and the high winds. Winter roofing issues are common all across the United States. Because of this, most property owners should be aware to keep an eye on their roofs from the moment the snow begins to fall. Identifying roofing problems in their earliest stages allows for faster repairs and mitigates the risk of further damage throughout the season.


1. Condensation

Condensation resulting from poor ventilation is one of the most common issues that goes unrecognized by home owners. Condensation is caused by warm air meeting the cold air under the roof that is being exposed to winter temperatures. It can lead to a smell along with the growth of mold and mildew.


The best way to prevent roof condensation is to properly ventilate the roof. Installing ventilation allows for maximum airflow. It fights condensation by reducing the amount of warm air that comes in contact with the cold roof. Your roofing contractor should be able to properly install the correct ventilation for your home. But if not, give H&H a call.

2. Ice Dams

Ice dams (As seen in the photo above) are caused by temperature variations. An ice dam forms when the top of the roof is warm and melts the snow while lower portions of the roof remain below freezing. Water runs down the roof and eventually freezes, forming an ice dam where the edge of the roof meets the gutter system.


Preventing ice dams is a matter of ventilating the roof and increasing insulation in order to prevent the upper portions of the roof from getting too warm. Insulation should not be packed tightly against the roof though, as this limits airflow and encourages condensation. Your contractor should know exactly what this means so don’t worry too much about it. But its never a bad idea to check and see what your roofing contractor plans to do!

3. Icicles

Icicles form when water from melted snow runs down the roof and begins to drip from the gutters. During its descent, temperatures are just cold enough to freeze the water. Icicles form and, if the problem is not corrected, continue to grow in length.


Icicles can be prevented by he same ventilation and insulating practices mentioned above. Along with keeping gutters clear of leaves (make sure to clean these before the temperatures drop!) and other debris during the fall. Removing snow and ice from the edges of the roof using a snow rake with a long handle also helps.

If you are in need of winter roofing assistance or unsure if your past roofing contractor implemented the correct measures when initially installing your roof… Please give H&H a call! We are here to help and answer any of your questions. 

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