For all of its fairytale charm and cozy warmth, winter brings a multitude of cautions and potential problems for homeowners. Most of these problems are things homeowners incorporate into their yearly routine. You know when it gets to be mid-November to turn off the outdoor faucets, to check insulation, to plastic seal any old windows, etc. What you may not be so sure about is your roof. Just like any other part of your home’s structure, however, your roof is an important asset to safeguard through preventative maintenance. Here are the top 4 ways winter can wreak havoc on your roof and how to ensure that they don’t come to pass:

1. Ice Dams

An “ice dam” isn’t just something an Arctic beaver builds with icicles. Ice dams are dangerous because water freezes at the eaves of your roof and prevents water from flowing into the troughs and downspouts. The solution to ice dams is a heater gutter protector. The Hott Topper from Gutter Topper is our favorite. This device keeps water from freezing and allows it to flow into your gutter at the eaves, where it is most likely to turn into an ice dam. It also prevents the formation of dangerous icicles, which can be safety hazards and add weight to your gutters. If you’re worried about ice dams and know your roof is susceptible to them, find out what Hott Topper can do to help. A one-time investment helps make your roof as worry-free as possible. Additionally, the Gutter Topper portion keeps your gutters free of debris during the rest of the year. And this debris, if not cleaned out, can be dangerous for proper flow in the winter.

2. Snow

Those tiny white perfect flakes that fall from the winter sky can actually be a big problem for any roof, especially if it already has deficiencies present. Snow is pretty heavy, after all, and we get a lot of it in this part of the country. We all remember the Metrodome collapse. So, what exactly can snow do to your roof?  Heavy, wet snow can exceed the weight limits for which the roof was designed. Now combine that heavy, wet snow with ice, and the potential damage can be measurably more significant, expensive and dangerous. Unlike commercial flat and rubber roofs, which usually have a drainage system, sloped residential roofs do not, and if snow is sticky and wet and piling up, it can be the equivalent of parking your car on your roof.

To avoid dangerous levels of snow piling up on your roof, a roof rake can be your best winter instrument. This is a long-handled tool that allows you to sweep snow off of your roof and onto the ground below. Roof rakes are available at your local hardware store or online with an Amazon search. Raking the snow off a single-story home is usually a do-it-yourself project that can be done in a short period of time. Homes that have more than one story, however, should be handled by a professional for safety purposes. Safely protecting your roof is a worthwhile home investment.

3. Icicles

What’s winter without the beautiful sight of sparkling ice hanging from the edge of your roof and gutters? As roofers, we could do without that. Icicles add a crystal, fairytale charm to the snow-covered landscape of your home. They also pose a great danger to your roof and the inhabitants it protects. A warm-up can cause icicles to sharpen and fall, which is a hazard to anybody who may be underneath. Large icicles dropped from two stories have seriously injured people in the past. Additionally, much like ice dams, icicles creating this extra weight on your eaves and preventing melted water from flowing into your gutters can put stress on your gutters, which in turn leads to water leaking down the walls and into the foundation of your home.

Icicles on your porch may be beautiful and are typically pretty safe. Any activity happening one story up or higher along a home wall should be treated like a frozen hornet’s nest. Is there a solution to all this winter doom? YES! The Hott Topper can prevent the build-up of icicles the same way it does with ice dams. By keeping water melted through your gutters and eaves, thereby reducing and even eliminating the opportunity for a wet disaster in your home.

4. Reindeer Footsteps

You thought snow was heavy weight until you get an obese elf (who has overindulged in cookies and milk), his 8 reindeer, a grand sleigh and a magic bag with all of the toys for good children up on your roof. That’s a cave-in waiting to happen.

Not sure where your roof stands?

What’s the old saying? Ah, yes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care and is a solid homeowner’s strategy. Security-Luekbe Roofing can help you keep your roof and gutters healthy this winter. Our experts are able to diagnose and solve any potential roofing headaches that will pull you out of the holiday spirit. We’ll do a free estimate and work with you to take care of any potentially hazardous conditions, no matter if you’re on the nice list or the naughty list… Contact us today for a free estimate!