Roofs are designed to take a heavy beating every winter, but they aren’t impervious to damage. Some winters are harsher than others and your roof might not be the same after a particularly heavy snow day. You don’t want to wait until next autumn to start getting ready for problems, which is why you might want to check it for any residual damage. Here are a couple of things you should pay attention to.

1. Pay attention to roof shingles

Shingles form the outermost protective layer of your roof. They are the first line of defense from the elements and they can get harsh during winter time. Some damage is to be expected if you’ve had a particularly dynamic winter. They are built to withstand heavy rain, hail, and even a large amount of snow, but they can only take so much before they crack.

Once a shingle is damaged, water and ice can seep through openings in the roof and possibly cause a leak in your attic. This is why you should probably inspect them as soon as you are able to. Check for signs of curling and clawing on their sides, while also paying attention to any buckling shingles. Sometimes the whole shingle can come flying off in certain weather conditions.

2. Fix instability issues

Every roof has a shelf life. It’s an issue you can’t ignore, because once it starts to show, it’s pretty much too late. The average roof should last about twenty to twenty five years at most. After this time, it might be wise to look at fixing some key areas or even outright replacing the roof. The first time issues might manifest themselves after a particularly harsh winter. Heavy rain and snowfall can exacerbate issues that were already present in the roof, making it susceptible to some critical damage.

If the weight of the snow goes over the roof’s snow load, it could lead to weakening of the roof itself. If these conditions persist you could even have the roof cave in. Such an event could cause injury, so it’s best to be proactive regarding the issue. It would be wise to hire a professional to check out your roof if it’s older than twenty five years old. It might cost you a bit, but it’s better than having it collapse on you and possibly cause harm.

3. Chimneys are vulnerable

Chimneys stick out on the roof like a sore thumb. They are usually pretty tough, so you might not expect them to take any kind of significant damage during the winter. Unfortunately, things can still happen and you should be well prepared in order to prevent leakage.

Cracks and crevices can appear due to the changes in temperature. Going from mild to freezing cold makes the bricks in the chimneys expand and contract, which can expose weaknesses and cause damage. It’s expected that you used the chimney quite a bit during the winter in order to stay warm. The sudden changes from heat boiling up on the inside and the cold attacking from the outside can take a toll on the chimney, which is why you might want to have it checked out.

4. Stains are common

Your roof might be a different colour than you remember it being last year. The shingles might have stayed the same, but you may notice black streaks and stains all over other parts of the roof. This could mean a lot of things, but it’s certainly something that needs to be fixed. Often, these streaks are a sign of mould growing on the roof. Certain fungi can thrive even under low-temperature conditions, so don’t be fooled by the cold weather. All they need is a bit of moist and they’ll cause problems.

The mould can grow both on the inside and the outside parts of the roof. This means your roof material traps a lot of moisture, which can happen with older roofs. Every homeowner should consider sturdy roof slate tiles, they’re pretty great for stopping moisture from getting in. If you notice those same black streaks on inside walls, it might mean that quite a bit of water has seeped inside and you need to fix the roof as soon as possible. Other signs to watch out for include orange spots, which could signal that some screws are rusted. If they break or fall out that could mean losing a shingle or two, so try to replace them in time.

5. Check for ice dams

There are few things as damaging to a roof as ice dams. They form at the edge of a roof and prevent snow and water from leaving the roof. This creates a sort of pool on the roof as the water can’t escape anywhere. The leftover water starts to seep through and cause damage to both the roof and attic.

If you suspect that your roof has ice dams, it might be time to check for some warning signs. Icicles usually form on the edges where ice dams are located, but they aren’t necessarily a product of them. If you see water seeping through a door frame or window pane, it’s very likely that you have ice dams on the roof above that wall. Ice dams can harm shingles and gutters as well. The heavy ice can accumulate on the gutter and cause it to collapse after some time.


Like any other part of your home, the roof requires some maintenance from time to time. Any kind of damage done to the roof could spell trouble. It could mean quite a bit of leakage or mould problems in your near future. This is why it’s important to take measures to make sure your roof is ready for the next season. Inspecting it isn’t much of a hassle, but it’s something that will help you diagnose any future problems.

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