As we sit and hope for this deep freeze to be a thing of our past, it is for more than the fact that we want to be warm; these frigid temperatures are wreaking havoc on our homes. If you think of what the constant freezing and thawing does to our streets and sidewalks, you have an appreciation of what it is doing to your home, namely your roof. As we continually experience severe cold along with a few warming spells, the snow and ice on your roof does not know which end is up. It will start to thaw, but then before it is gone, the temps go down and it refreezes. Eventually you end up with ice dams on your roof and in your gutters.
What Happens to the Roof?
You might think that the refreezing will not do any more damage than it did in the first place, but this is wrong. As the thawed snow and ice refreezes, it is typically lower on your roof, typically near the gutter where the temperature is lower than on a heated roof. When the snow freezes again, it pushes up on your roof. As it moves up, it can get underneath your shingles and cause severe damage to your roof.
What Other Damage can Occur?
Unfortunately, it is more than your roof that is at risk. Depending on the level of the ice that has formed on your roof, you could find problems inside your home too. Your ceilings, walls and floors are all at risk for serious water damage, including mold and mildew damage. In addition, you could also find large icicles forming on the edge of your roof, which poses risks to your home as well as those that are around your home. The heavier the icicles, the more weight that they put on your roof, pulling everything down. If the icicles were to fall, they could pose life threatening risks as well.
If you do find that you have ice dams, it is best not to care for them yourself. Climbing on the roof during these conditions is obviously not recommended, but in general, it takes proper knowledge of a roof to know where it is safe to walk, even when the weather warms up. Before caring for your damaged roof from these frigid temperatures, it is best to get a professional opinion to ensure the safety of yourself as well as your home.