It may feel like a pretty mild winter in Virginia, but with the snowfall we’ve received in the past two months, homeowners are likely to be concerned about the effects of snow on their home. Snow can raise questions about freezing pipes, insulation, energy bills and more. Homeowners may also wonder about the overall structure, and whether heavy snow can damage roofing and gutters. Ask the Expert: “Can Heavy Snow Damage My Roof & Gutters?”

Thankfully, your home was probably designed and built with the local climate in mind, and even heavy snow won't weigh your roofing down or damage the shingles. Even with lots of insulation, heat is going to escape your home and melt away the layer of snow on top of your roof right into the gutters. As long as you have sturdy gutters from a reliable brand, you shouldn’t have to worry about the weight of snow or water in your gutters pulling the system away. If your gutter system is looking worn or has existing damage, you may want to schedule any repairs or replacement before the next big snowstorm.

Beware Ice Dams

There is, however, one situation caused by snow and freezing temperatures that can lead to bigger problems: ice dams. Ice dams can occur when snow is melting away due to the heat loss of your home, but your gutters remain at freezing temperature from the air. The draining water can freeze in your gutters, leading to an ice build-up that (depending on the amount of snow) can cause a backup under your roof shingles.

So, how can you tell if an ice dam is occurring? You may notice icicles on your gutters, icicles forming behind the gutters or water seeping into your home – a sign that it is time to call a professional. Ignoring the problem can lead to bigger issues like mold and rot in other areas of your home. Trying to clear it yourself is dangerous, and can often lead to bigger damage that will be far more expensive than consulting an expert.

Most likely, a professional will come to your home and alleviate the ice backup, or remove your gutter system entirely to allow snowmelt to drip freely. As always, do your research to find a trustworthy company, and check your insurance policy.

Get Help From Pros Who Care

The experts at Roofing & More are here if you have any concerns about snow or ice damming. Call us at [company_number] or complete our convenient form to request a free in-home consultation and estimate.