How to Prevent Winter Roof Damage

Though we’re not used to getting a ton of snow through the winter, this year the weather has been rough on everyone. Fairfax County averages just 12 inches of snowfall each winter, but 2015 has brought freezing temperatures that has accumulated more snow than we’re used to seeing. Without the proper preparations, heavy snowfall can cause serious damage to your roof and gutters. With long stretches of severe weather, make sure your roof can carry the weight.
There are several steps you can take to prevent roof damage through the winter, and with the help of roof rakes, you can ensure your rooftop is safe through this winter and in the future.

Let’s first take a look at the dangers. Snow accumulation is heavy, and with a mixture of sleet and freezing rain can add a great deal of weight—and pressure—to your roof. We’ve seen the residents of Boston have to shovel off their roofs to prevent collapsing due to the overwhelming winter they’re facing. The wetter the snowfall is, the heavier it weighs on your roof, and the more likely your structure and foundation is weakened.

So, how can you prevent roof damage in the winter?

Keep Gutters Free of Snow and Ice: When the snow and ice begins to melt, make sure your gutters and drains are clear to avoid blockage. Blocked gutters can result in water seeping into the home and causing further damage to your interior. When ice dams develop, attic insulation can help protect the roof from weather conditions that cause ice dams. Clogged gutters can cause dangerous icicles, a backlog of melting water, and further debris to build up. Our gutter services in Fairfax County will provide your home with a durable gutter system for added protection.

Remove Heavy Snow from Roof: Your best option is to use a roof rake. A roof rake’s extended handle allows you to pull snow from the roof without having to step on the roof. Use downward strokes from the ground and start from the edges. Best practice is to scrape along the bottom of the roof to free up the gutters. Roof rakes can be purchased or made yourself, but make sure there is no equipment below that the snow will damage.


Identify Potential Warning Signs: Throughout the winter, you can see shingles cracking or your roof sagging. Wood and steel structures often show signs of damage before failing, and if you take notice, you should call in the professionals. Don’t risk waiting until the winter ends and experiencing further damage that could have easily been prevented if action was taken immediately. If you are uncomfortable working on the roof yourself, we’re here to help.

As the weather gets warmer and the snow melts away, inspect your roof to make sure there are no lingering effects from the snowfall. If you are unsure whether or not damage is present you need a roof replacement, call our team at Sunshine Contracting Corporation and we’ll provide a free estimate to help you make the right choice.

We proudly offer roofing services in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun and Stafford County.

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