Winter Roofing & Shingle Damage: Ice Dams, Roof Leaks & How to Prevent Them

Winter weather can be hard on your roof, especially on the East Coast. In places like Delaware, the wet winter can put a significant strain on your shingle roofing. Several issues can creep up if you don’t pay attention and, if not adequately addressed, may lead to costly repairs come spring.

Today, we’re discussing the two most common winter-related problems in residential roofing and how to prevent your home from incurring expensive and extensive roof repairs.

Winter Roofing & Shingle Damage: Ice Dams, Roof Leaks & How to Prevent Them

Winter Roofing & Shingle Damage: Ice Dams, Roof Leaks & How to Prevent Them

Problem #1 – Ice Buildup

Ice buildup can become quite a problem in shingle roofing, particularly if your area has received significant snowfall. The fluctuating temperatures consistent with a DE winter can cause ice to melt and re-freeze on the surface of the roof. The ice that accumulates on the edge of the roof forming ice dams.

Ice dams create a barrier that impedes melted snow from draining normally through your gutter system. Sections of ice that remain on the upper portions of the roof are problematic as well, for similar reasons.

3 Ice Dam Prevention Tips:

  1. There is no doubt that ice dams lead to shingle damage & roof leak incidents. Clearing your roof thoroughly – and safely – after a snowfall can prevent the formation of ice dams, and protects the shingle roofing from weather-related damage.
  2. A more proactive solution is to ensure adequate insulation & ventilation systems are in place, before winter arrives. Proper ventilation in the attic of your home is an affordable solution that keeps your roof at a stable temperature even on the coldest days of winter. This encourages ice to melt without damaging the roofing materials.
  3. Additionally, make sure your home’s gutter system is in good condition before the first frost. Your Delaware roofing professionals can provide comprehensive gutter inspection as part of your fall roof inspection, so remember to schedule one this year!

Problem #2 – Roof Leaks

Roof leaks are an extremely common problem in roofs of all kinds, including shingled types. Leakage in the flashing near chimneys and skylights are perhaps the most common areas that sustain damage. Water damage can impact not only your roof but your home’s interior as well, but can be easily prevented.

Other damage include cracking, bruising and blistering of the surface of the roofing material. Aggressive storms could even cause you to lose whole shingles from your roof. Damage of this kind must be repaired to retain the function and integrity of your roofing structure.

3 Winter Leaks Prevention Tips:

  1. Combat potential water damage in your home by making any required repairs to your siding, windows, flashing or shingles in the summer or autumn. A leaky roof can also occur during the spring rainy season – fixing minor issues during the dryer times (fall and summer) of year may help prevent more costly roofing repairs later.
  2. Schedule a pre-winter roof inspections to make sure your home is ready for the cold and wet winter conditions. Aside from typical external check of your roofing structure, your roofing inspector should check ventilation, insulation and moisture levels and offer appropriate steps to remedy any potential problems before winter arrives.
  3. After big storm, clear your roof of snow as quickly as possible after the storm. Speedy yet safe snow removal does not give the precipitation time to melt and refreeze on the roof, creating ice dams.

Need a Reputable Shingle Roofing Contractor?

The integrity of your roof is critical in maintaining your home’s value. Proper maintenance and inspections, especially before winter snow storms, can significantly extend the life of your roof.

If you’d like to schedule an inspection to diagnose specific problems or evaluate the overall condition of your roof, contact All Roofing Solutions. Serving residential and commercial customers in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania, we’ve been installing & repairing roofs since 1998!

Backed by our satisfied customers and a proven track record for excellence, we offer generous warranties, top-quality materials and experienced contractors who get the job done right the first time. We are proud of our craft and stand behind our work 100% – please check our project gallery & read customer reviews on Google.

Protect your home by scheduling a roofing & gutters inspection/maintenance today! Call 302-725-ROOF (7663) in Delaware or 610-551-ROOF (7663) in Pennsylvania or request a Free Quote online!


  1. Posted December 29, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Icicles and ice dams have always been an issue throughout the winter for me(and my clients). I get ridiculous calls in the middle of the winter and a ton soon after its end because the ice formations have destroyed or damaged the guttering systems(as your picture depicts). People need more awareness of how to maintain their roof. Insulation and roof venting(if possible) are the correct answers here.
    Pro tip: if you are a home owner where the winter is rather extreme and persistent – use metal roofing and no gutters at all. Metal does not let any snow accumulate on your roof – everything will fall directly around the house(prepare yourself for a good snow cleaning habit though).

    Great advices on your side, all useful.

    Regards, Irvine

  2. Posted February 8, 2018 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    These tips are very useful! They helped me through the majority of this winter!

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