"The National Weather Service has issued a freezing rain advisory for Alexandria and much of the Washington, D.C. region until noon Sunday, Jan. 5.NWS predicts light freezing rain and drizzle early in the morning, changing to rain by midday. Before then, a small accumulation is possible, mostly in northern portions of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties. Because of cold ground temperatures, rain could freeze on contact, especially on untreated roads.NWS warns of slippery roads and urges drivers to slow down and use caution.Sunday’s advisory is just a precursor to bitterly cold conditions expected for the region Monday through Tuesday evening. Because of an arctic front moving into the region, daily record cold temperatures are expected along with dangerously low wind chills. The air mass may carry the coldest temperatures to Alexandria in 20 years."

Homeowners in cold-weather states like Virginia often face freezing rains and other icy conditions during the cold winter months. Such conditions, such as the ones described in the above excerpt from Old Town Alexandria, put your home’s structure—and possibly your safety—at risk. It’s important to take measures to deal with winter’s challenges effectively.

Roof problems during winter

Ice storms and freezing winds dump a lot of snow on the roof. If the ice becomes too heavy, your roof could cave in. If the ice melts, large chunks of ice can break off and cause injury to anyone below. If the ice melts and refreezes at the lower portion of the roof, ice dams may form, which can force water to pool on the roof and cause leaks.

Removing snow and ice dams from a roof

Once snow builds up or ice dams form on your roof, a roof rake is the quickest solution. Roof rakes have an extended handle, which enables the user to pull snow down from the roof to the ground. Raking snow off a roof doesn’t require a professional, just make sure to start from the edge and work your way up a roof using downward strokes.

Preventing an ice dam

Ice dams are a frequent problem of Alexandria roofing systems during winter. Ice dam prevention involves keeping attic temperatures consistent. Proper insulation and ventilation is necessary to maintain the ideal temperature in the attic and on the roof deck.

For problems with your roof that are too difficult for you to handle, contact a reliable Alexandria, VA roofing contractor like Roofing & More, Inc.

(Article Information and Image from Weather Advisory for Alexandria, Old Town Alexandria, January 5, 2014)