How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof in Vancouver

Image of gutter separating from roof due to heavy ice formation.

Well, it’s official. We’ve hit the record for the coldest day in BC since 1971 at a brisk -15.3°C on December 27th. As these cold fronts continue to threaten BC cities, it’s important to know the risks this poses to your roof. To ensure you and your roof are prepared for these record-breaking temperatures, here’s how snow and ice can impact your home or commercial building:

What Are the Effects of Heavy Snow and Ice?

These chilly elements can be extremely heavy, adding a lot of pressure to your roofing system. While roofs are strong, they’re built to be more water-tight and wind-resistant than supportive structures. If you have a buildup of snow and ice, you may be at risk of the following:

Freeze/ Thaw Cycle

As snow melts, it can seep into the small cracks of your roof or gutter system. Then, when the weather drops below zero, the water refreezes and expands. This cycle throughout winter will eventually cause the cracks to grow larger, opening more room for leaks and structural issues.

Snow and Ice Buildup

Sure, one snowflake is no problem for your roof. However, when the snowflakes accumulate to several inches worth, this becomes a hefty weight on your roof. Ice and snow buildup can weaken your roofing materials and cause serious stress on the overall system, especially if you have a flat roof. Therefore, snow and ice should not be left to accumulate on your roof long-term. If you’ve experienced a particularly cold and snowy winter, you should enlist the help of Taves Vancouver roofing services.

Roofing Blisters

For flat and low-sloped roofs especially, roofing blisters can be a cause for concern. When the weather starts to warm up, the rising temperature can trap excess moisture or air beneath the layers of the roofing system. Any additional pressure on these parts forces the air or moisture to expand, resulting in a blistered, uneven appearance to your rooftop. How do you prevent this from happening? By hiring an experienced, thorough team of roofing contractors to install your roof. If you’re worried about the condition of your roof, most roofing companies offer seasonal maintenance visits to evaluate and repair throughout the year.

Ice Dams

When the warm temperature escapes from inside your home, it can interact with the freezing temperatures and snow to form ice dams. Typically, this will form on the edge of your roof, preventing melted snow from draining off, causing a backup of moisture to collect on your rooftop. Eventually, this can cause leaks, mold, mildew, and even a complete roof collapse if the ice continues to increase. Insulation, attic ventilation, and proper installation of roofing materials is crucial to prevent ice dams from forming.

Damage from Snow Removal

Have you ever hopped atop your house with a shovel in hand to remove excess snow from your rooftop? While this is fine if you feel comfortable doing so, you want to be careful with your tactics. When you remove snow and ice yourself, be careful not to puncture your roofing materials. Especially if you’re removing built-up ice, your extra hard scrapes could puncture the waterproof membrane or dislodge shingles on your roof. If you’re not experienced with this type of work, investing in some Vancouver snow removal services will prevent unnecessary damage and injury.

How Roofing Companies Treat Snow and Ice Buildup?

Dealing with snow is no easy task! At Taves Roofing, our friendly team of roofers offer reliable, affordable snow removal services to keep your home, sidewalks, driveways, and commercial lots clear of snow and ice. If your roof is in need of snow and ice removal, our team is well-equipped and experienced to handle the task. Reach out today for residential and commercial roofing services in Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and the Tri-Cities!

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