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How To Prevent Roof Damage During Winter

In Chicago, Illinois, we are no strangers to extremely cold temperatures during the winter months. Given the fact that roofs on our homes are constantly exposed to the elements, it is imperative to ensure it is protected from roof damage during the winter months.

Preparing your roof for snow and cold temperatures can help protect your home and family. Performing routine maintenance as the temperatures fall increases the likelihood that your roof will remain in good shape for the long term. There are a few things you can do to ensure you do not suffer roof damage while dealing with inclement weather conditions. 

How Can Winter Weather Cause Roof Damage?

Winter packs a lot of punches. From ice and snow to strong winds and temperatures well below freezing, the season can leave some serious damage in its wake. Here are a few ways that winter weather can threaten the safety and structure of your roof.

Snow Buildup

One of the most obvious ways that your roof might suffer during the winter is through snow buildup. Although a single snowflake does not weigh much, when they fall by the hundreds of thousands, they get heavy fast!

Chicago averages about 37 inches of snow a year, which is a lot for most roofs to handle. This is especially true if they are old or poorly constructed. Wet snow is particularly heavy, running the risk of a collapse — not to mention water damage.

How To Know if Snow Buildup Is Hurting Your Roof

Seeing heavy snow on a roof is never a good sign. But if you notice that your roof or ceiling has cracks or gaps — or even worse, that it is visibly sagging — it is cause for immediate professional help.

Strong Winds

During a winter storm, winds might pick up to impressive speeds. This poses a danger for your roof, especially regarding roof tiles. These high winds can rip roof tiles off your house, putting you at risk of more serious long-term roof damage such as collapsing and water damage.

Winter winds can also be dangerous when they blow tree branches and other debris onto your roof. This can cause damage by knocking tiles off, putting holes in the structure, or accumulating water.


When it comes to winter roof damage, one thing you may overlook is condensation. If your home has an attic, you might be at a more significant risk of developing condensation inside your walls and roof. This happens when temperatures drop outside while warm air is trapped inside. Condensation can cause water damage over time, leading to a weakened structure or mold and mildew.

Ice Buildup

Ice is another serious problem that can lead to significant roof damage. That is because it does not just accumulate as ice. Eventually, it will melt. As it melts, it can block your gutters, increasing the likelihood of debris and moisture accumulating on your roof.

How Do You Know if Ice Buildup Is Affecting Your Roof?

Check your gutters periodically. Clogged gutters can lead to severe roof damage and need to be addressed as soon as possible. Upon inspection, you may notice them getting clogged with dirt, leaves, or snow. Another sign that ice is posing a problem is the formation of ice dams. Ice dams are ridges of ice or hardened snow that form at the edge of the roof and keep water from being able to drain away. 

How Can You Protect Your Roof?

Winter does not have to spell doom for your roof. In fact, with some basic maintenance, you are unlikely to experience any problems or suffer significant roof damage. These simple tasks can spell the difference between a roof that lasts for many years or a pricey and dangerous repair.

Make these maintenance tasks a priority every autumn. That way, you will know that your roof is in prime condition when snow starts to fall.

Cleaning the Gutters

No one likes cleaning the gutters. But the simple fact is that this is an essential part of maintaining your roof. Gutters need to be clear of leaves, branches, and debris so they can funnel water and dirt away, reducing the risk of roof damage caused by water.

Trim Nearby Trees

If you have a tree on your property, it is a good idea to give it a trim in the autumn. This will reduce the risk of dead branches falling under the weight of snow or being blown off during a winter storm and striking your roof.

Consider Special Measures

These days, there are special things you can install in or on your home to protect it through the winter. Some of these are simple, such as ensuring your attic is properly insulated and ventilated ahead of the winter. Others require special equipment like heat trace cables, which keep ice from accumulating on your roof.

Be Vigilant

Throughout the winter, make sure you are paying attention to the conditions in and around your house that could indicate that you may have roof damage. Do you notice condensation on your walls or ceilings? Are your appliances working the way they should? Is ice or slush gathering in your gutters? Have branches or leaves fallen onto your roof? Are the drains clear and working? Do you smell mold or mildew inside — or even notice visible gaps or leaks?

These are all good things to keep an eye out for. However, unless you are a professional roofer or contractor, you might be better off hiring someone to inspect your home before the winter weather sets in.

What Not To Do

You might think that protecting your roof is as simple as knocking snow and ice off with a rake or snapping icicles off by hand. But the truth is, this can hurt more than it helps. Breaking ice off of your roof can cause damage, further increasing the risk of cracks, water damage, or other deterioration.

If you suspect there is a problem with your roof during the winter, your best move is to contact a professional who can address any issues as safely and carefully as possible.

Contact Canga Restoration This Winter

Whether you are concerned about your roof’s safety or just want to prepare, a professional is the best way to make sure your home is in top shape. Contact Canga Restoration at 630-912-2635 to schedule an inspection or repair. Our team is in Schaumburg, IL, and we can meet with you to determine if you have any roof damage that needs attention. We will provide you with a quote for any repairs and ensure that the job is completed with professionalism and the highest quality workmanship.

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Please contact us at Canga Restoration to book a roof replacement inspection in Chicago. You can also reach us at 630-912-2635

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