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Potential Shingle Roof Damage From Intense Winter Weather

There are many ways winter weather in Michigan damages shingle roofs. While asphalt shingles from top manufacturers like GAF and Owens Corning are incredibly durable, they can still be damaged by intense winter weather. Extreme wind, snow, ice, hail, and cold brought on by blizzards or a polar vortex are common reasons for seasonal roof damage in Michigan.

Even though these events do not occur year in and year out, the frequency of blizzards and extreme temperatures are increasing. According to Weather.com, the U.S. now experiences 20+ blizzards annually, which means heavy snow and sustained winds over 35 MPH. As extreme winter weather becomes more common, so does the likelihood of winter roof damage.


3 Ways Winter Weather In Michigan Damages Shingle Roofs


1. Ice Damming

An ice dam forms when snow or ice on the roof melts then freezes near the edge of the roof or inside the gutters. As more ice and snow melts, the water backs up onto the roof, potentially penetrating the home through cracked shingles. These leaks can damage your sub-roof, attic insulation, ceilings, and interior walls. Another risk includes gutters, soffits, and roof sections tearing away from the home due to the weight of the ice. Professionally installed gutters can reduce the risk of ice dams. It is also important to clean your home’s gutters every fall.

Ice Dam On Shingle Roof In Michigan Potentially Causing Roof Leaks

Ice dams form on an asphalt shingle roof in Michigan potentially damaging the roof, gutters, and soffits


2. Wind Damage

Intense winter weather, especially blizzards, mean high winds, which creates the potential for roof damage. While high winds often mean loose shingles and granules, in extreme cases they can completely remove entire roof sections or cause dangerous and destructive tree falls. Another rare but dangerous problem associated with high winds is roof snowdrifts. Heavy snow accumulation over one section of a roof can cause sagging or even a complete roof failure.

3. Hail and Ice Damage

Hail is one of the most common reasons why winter weather in Michigan damages shingle roofs. This is because hail, especially large hail, hits with enough force to crack, chip, and break asphalt shingles. In extreme cases, hail can even puncture straight through an asphalt roof. Any damage caused by hail or ice can open the door to leaks and interior water damage. Since it is obvious when hail and ice storms hit, homeowners should be on the lookout for damage. In most cases, homeowners can file an insurance claim for hail damage, and the cost of repairs or replacement are covered.

Winter Weather Leaves Hail And Ice On An Asphalt Shingle Roof In Milford MI

Hail and ice remains visible on a shingle roof after a winter storm.


Common Signs Of Winter Weather Roof Damage

Due to ice, wind, and other safety concerns, it is extremely important homeowners do not climb onto their roof to look for damage. Thankfully, there are common signs that winter weather has damaged your asphalt shingle roof. These include:

  • Loose, missing, or displaced shingles
  • Finding shingle granules in the yard or downspouts
  • Wet attic insulation or roof joists
  • Ceiling water spots after melts or heavy rains
  • Sagging roof sections, soffits, or gutters

While these are not the only signs, they are clear cut indicators of how winter weather in Michigan damages shingle roofs. They are also signs you need to contact a residential roofing contractor.

Winter Weather Damaged My Roof – Now What?

If your roof has been damaged by intense winter weather, it important you contact a professional roofing contractor to do a complete roof inspection. In most cases, roofers can complete a thorough roof inspection without leaving the ground using aerial drones. If a drone inspection is not an option, a licensed roofer is trained to safely climb onto your roof to do a complete inspection. Once the inspection is complete, homeowners should expect a breakdown of the damage, potential issues, and an estimate to repair or replace the roof.

Based in Milford, MI, 180 Contractors is one of Southeast Michigan’s top-rated home improvement contractors. Specializing in exterior remodeling services, they partner with homeowners on roofing, windows, siding, gutters, and entry door projects. Contact them today for a free roofing estimate.

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