How the Winter Weather Can Affect Your Roof and Shingles

Effects of Winter Weather on Roof Structures and Shingles Can Be Extensive

Damaged Roof Shingles After WinterUnexpected roof repairs, regardless of the time of year, can be particularly inconvenient for a Toronto homeowner and their family members, not to mention the bearing this can have on the monthly maintenance budget. And, depending on the type or extent of any damage, i.e. water penetration, the repairs could extend to other parts of the home also.

This scenario can become further magnified during the winter since there is an extensive list of roofing-related problems/issues that can occur from a roof’s exposure to the snow, ice, and cold temperatures of the season, especially if that roof is constructed of asphalt shingles; and, as the majority of Toronto homes have asphalt shingle roofs, the potential effects of winter weather should have widespread concern throughout the local populace.

The following are the most common ways that the winter weather conditions experienced in Toronto and the GTA can affect a residential roof and/or its asphalt shingles; some of the potential consequences of these effects are also noted:

  • Structural Damage – a heavy accumulation of snow and ice on the roof can exceed the approved weight load for that surface, causing the decking, rafters, or trusses to partially or completely collapse; a comprehensive discussion of this effect is provided at our Snow Can Cause Damage To Your Roof page.
  • Shingle Damage – shingles can become very brittle in cold temperatures (especially older shingles); as a result, they may crack, chip, or break off under the pressures of heavy snow/ice or high winds, thus exposing the roof and the home to potential leaks and water damage
  • Gutter Damage – gutters and downspouts obstructed by debris are not able to drain away run-off from melting snow; subsequent freeze-and-thaw cycles can produce an ice build-up, which in turn may become too heavy for the weight-bearing capacity of the system and result in damage to the gutters, soffit, and/or fascia. Another related concern is ice dam formation of along the horizontal edge of the gutter at the roof line; once again, if melting snow/ice cannot be drained, that water will flow under the roof surface and damage the shingles, decking, and perhaps the inside walls/ceilings.
  • Chimney and Skylight Damage – the flashing, or the waterproof material installed to prevent water penetration around the perimeter of chimneys, skylights, and vents can be compromised by an accumulation of snow and ice. As these substances melt, water will find its way through a defect and damage the adjacent chimney masonry, shingles, and roof decking; it can also enter the home and affect the integrity of the fireplace or the walls/ceilings.
  • Blocked Ventilation – snow or ice build-up can inhibit the proper ventilation of the attic, hence leading to an accumulation of moisture in the attic; this can contribute to shingle deterioration and to the possibility of mold growth. If the attic ventilation or the shingles are compromised, a home’s overall energy efficiency may be reduced.

Should homeowners have any suspicions or evidence of these conditions or their related consequences this winter, it will likely be an indication that some degree of roof repair or shingle repairs/replacement is required. Under such circumstances, homeowners would be well-advised to contact a Toronto roofer with the knowledge and expertise to perform roof repairs in the winter season; one such contractor is Avenue Road Roofing, a leading roofing company in Toronto for more than 40 years.

For additional information on the roof repair services provided by Avenue Road Roofing, please see our Emergency Roof Repair Services page & our Roof Leak Repairs page.

Comprehensive Services to Prevent or Repair Winter Damage to Your Home

While Toronto homeowners are at the mercy of winter’s harsh conditions, there are steps that they can take to minimize or prevent the type of roof and shingle damage described above; these steps include:

  • Roof Inspection – to ensure that the shingles, flashing, gutters, etc. are in optimal condition and are providing the appropriate and expected levels of protection
  • Attic Inspection (as part of the full roof inspection) to assess whether its ventilation and insulation are at sufficient performance levels for maximum energy efficiency
  • Roof Snow Removal – to avoid the range of potential issues/damage that can occur from excessive accumulations of snow and ice

Roof Shingle Damage After Winter StormBased on the safety issues associated with these actions, particularly in winter weather conditions and with working at heights in general, it is highly advisable that homeowners use a professional roofing company for such services; all of these preventative measures are available from the experts at Avenue Road Roofing.

Furthermore, Avenue Road Roofing has the capability to effectively address and resolve winter weather-related issues that may affect other areas of the home in addition to the roof; such aspects would include the:

  • Masonry
  • Foundation
  • Exterior Siding

These areas can be impacted by water damage, not only due to leaks in the roof but also as an unfortunate consequence of pipes that have frozen then subsequently burst within the home. Depending on the location of these pipes and their degree of exposure to the elements, the end-result of a freeze-and-burst scenario can cause substantial and costly damage to the various components of the building envelope.

In the aftermath of these situations, the exterior envelope of the home could require a comprehensive amount of structural repairs, and the highly skilled team at Avenue Road Roofing has the expertise to remedy that damage in a prompt and efficient manner.

See our Building Restoration Services page for more information on Avenue Road Roofing’s building envelope restoration services.

Toronto winters can have a particularly harsh and damaging impact on a home, including the roof structure, its shingles, and the building envelope as a whole. If you require roof repair services this winter, call the experienced professionals from Avenue Road Roofing at 647-360-7743 or Contact us to discuss our preventative services such roof and attic inspections and roof snow removal.