January 19

What This Winter Is Doing to Your Roof


roof gutter damage

The winter months bring extreme weather that will cause roof damage. The 2022-2023 winter has been especially brutal. The snow has had a higher-than-average water ratio, temperatures have risen and fallen, creating thick ice, and we’ve had rain, sleet, and wind, in all their glorious forms. This winter may be doing more damage to your roof than you think.

We put together a list of some damage signs, both now and in the spring as the accumulated snow clears.


NOW: Look in your attic


Frost in attic from winter cold
Attic Frost

Right now, your home most likely has a build-up of snow and/or ice on the roof. Either of these can be detrimental to your attic. If you live in a home that has had trouble with ice dams in the past, then your attic is a place you especially need to check. Ice dams can cause excessive condensation to your attic’s ceiling. Even a small amount of moisture build-up can lead to both wood rot and mold.

When you inspect your attic, some telltale signs are:

  • Hot or stuffy feeling – A properly ventilated attic should feel breezy. If it feels hot or stuffy, you have a ventilation problem.
  • Dark or black stains on wood surfaces – This is likely mold that needs to be removed
  • Wet Insulation – Another potential mold indicator. In addition, wet insulation doesn’t perform as well, and it will cost you extra money to heat or cool your home.
  • Frost buildup – In cold weather, water vapor in a poorly ventilated attic can freeze on the underside of your roof.
    Trust your nose – A musty or moldy smell is a sign that there is a moisture problem.


NOW: Check ceilings for signs of paint discoloration or stains


Ceiling water stain
Ceiling water stain most likely caused by a roof leak

There is no shortage of ways that water can enter your home, and you bet that melting snow is one of those ways. If you have a great roofing and gutters system (and have developed the good practice of raking your roof), then all that melting snow has probably disappeared without a hitch.

Take a good look at your ceilings. If you are noticing any paint discoloration or staining, that means water has made its way into your home. One of the most common causes for a ceiling water stain is a roof leak, that may be caused by a minor issue such as a damaged shingle, torn flashing, or loose screw in a section of your roof, or blockage in your gutters. Snow, ice, and wind can create these issues.

If you have water stains, don’t panic! A professional inspection of your roof and/or gutter system can pinpoint a solution.


SPRING: Check for excessive granular loss


Shingle with severe granular loss
Roofing shingle showing heavy amounts of granular loss

Shingle granules play a vital role in the preservation of your roof. They prevent your roof from being overexposed to the sun, in turn prolonging the need for another roof replacement.

Significant granular loss can be detrimental to the health of your roof. The snow and ice from this winter could take some extra granules with it, AND, importantly, may expose previously undetectable damage from a summer weather event.

This sounds technical, but thankfully, you won’t have to get up on your roof to inspect for excessive granular loss when all the snow melts. Loose granules flow into your gutters with the water and pile up in your downspouts or directly onto the ground. If you inspect your downspouts and notice large amounts of granules, you may have an issue. Another easy way to detect granular loss is by simply looking at your roof when the snow melts for discoloration or light spots. If you see evidence, it may be time to call a professional like Shelter Construction for an inspection.


SPRING: Look for curling, loose, or buckled shingles


Storm damaged shingle on roof
Curling shingle most likely caused by heavy wind

If a quick review for roof damage from the ground reveals a curled, buckled, loose, or missing shingle, it’s not a sign that your entire roof is compromised. Often it means just that – that a solitary shingle has become dislodged due to ice or wind. But it may mean that previously undetected damage from a summer weather event is now, well, detectable. We recommend inspection by a qualified exterior contractor.


Turn to the Pros at Shelter Construction


At Shelter, we perform free inspections. We will perform minor repairs to roof damage during the inspection to small damage that we find. Give us a call at 612-284-6985 or schedule an inspection today on our website!


Home Maintenance, Roofing, Storm Damage

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