Top 5 Problems for Homeowners and their Roofs during Winter

Winter in Ontario is often unpredictable, bringing a blanket of snow one day and a sheet of rain the next. This variability can cause unique challenges for roofs and the homeowners looking after them.

Keep reading to learn the five problems you need to watch for this winter:


1. Leaks around Flashing

Flashings – the metal strips placed at corners, ridges, and edges – can be prone to leaking, especially if they’re damaged during a harsh winter storm.

You should inspect your flashings at least twice per year (particularly after bad storms) to catch and repair flaws early and prevent moisture from seeping in.


2. Cracked and Broken Shingles

It’s not uncommon for shingles to be affected by wintery conditions – whether they’re blown off by a gust of wind or cracked by a falling tree branch. Missing shingles can leave your roof exposed and vulnerable to the elements, which is why it’s crucial you have your roof assessed and repaired promptly.


3. Built-Up Snow and Ice

Problems typically start when you have more than 5cm (2in) of ice or 70cm (2ft) of heavy snow. Snow that’s left to pile up can cause a variety of issues including structural harm, ice dams, or even a full or partial roof collapse.

Keep an eye out for signs of trouble like:

  • Evidence of sagging, leaking, or cracking.
  • Sounds of popping or cracking.
  • Doors that open unexpectedly or stick.


4. Blocked Attic Vents

Attic vents work to circulate air, minimizing condensation inside your home and reducing the amount of snow and ice that lingers on your roof. During the winter, however, they can become blocked by debris, snow, and ice. Keeping them impediment-free will ensure your attic is well and properly insulated.


5. Ice Dams Forming at the Edge of Your Roof

Ice dams occur when melting snow becomes trapped at your roof’s edge. It then refreezes and causes more ice to accumulate behind it.

Ice dams can cause serious harm if left unattended, warping your shingles and forcing moisture to back up where it’s more likely to leak into your home and harm insulation, ceilings, walls, and even the foundation.