How cold weather affects your roof

With winter fast approaching the weather will take a turn for the worse. As it gets colder, your roof will face a new set of challenges compared to the summer. The lower temperatures and potential for snow and hail can damage roof elements like guttering and compromise the effectiveness of your system. If you experience any damage to your roof over the winter, make sure you have it attended to by a professional as quickly as possible.

How low temperatures affect your roof

As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, your roof becomes vulnerable to hazards it would not otherwise face. During the autumn months the temperature can vary quite dramatically, dropping significantly at night and increasing in the middle of the day. If the materials in the roof expand and contract too quickly as a result, they may experience thermal shock damage. This can create breaches in the system that will let the elements in or, in extreme cases, make it structurally unsafe. You may see warped or rotted roof beams, cracked tiles, or find mould in your attic.

How ice affects your roof

Water freezing on your roof over the winter months can form into ice dams. Ice dams are created when snow or ice melts, flows down to the edge of the roof, and freezes again. This creates significant weight on the overhang that is unsupported by the wall of your property. An ice dam that is left unattended can severely damage your soffits, fascias, guttering, and even cause flashing to peel away. Furthermore, an ice dam forms a barrier that prevents later meltwater from flowing off the roof. This stagnant water can seep into your roof, become clogged with debris, and is the perfect environment for moss and algae to grow.

How snow can damage your roof

Snow doesn’t flow off a roof like rain. It can sit in large drifts causing weight to build up on your roof. This will create stress on the different materials including the slates or tiles and even the timbers. Snow build-ups can also obscure your view of the roof, making it difficult to spot damage or cracks. As the snow begins to melt the water can seep through these breaches unbeknownst to you, causing problems inside your property.

The effect of hailstorms on your roof

Hail is frozen water that has gathered in storm updrafts, falling in small pebble-like chunks. Unlike rain, snow, or sleet, it is solid and dense when it hits the ground. This can majorly impact your roof. Flat roofs are particularly vulnerable as the angle doesn’t deflect the damage as much as a pitched roof. Hailstones can mark your tiles or slates, affecting the look of your home. During more extreme storms they can damage flashing, guttering, soffits, fascias, or even punch through slates altogether.

How to spot if the weather has damaged your roof

There are a few clear indicators that your roof is being damaged by the cold weather. Please only ever examine your roof from the ground or a safe vantage point. If you’d like a more thorough survey, engage the services of a professional.

  • Damaged tiles

    Cracked or missing tiles or shingles are a clear sign that something is wrong. These create holes that cold air and moisture can enter your home through.

  • Moss growth

    Additional moisture will often encourage growth of moss. If you can see distinctive green, yellow, or brown patches then your roof should be attended to.

  • Mould

    Take a look in your attic for any mould or mildew on the timbers, cladding, or insulation. This is a clear sign that moisture is getting into your attic through a hole or breach.

  • Loose flashing

    If the cladding or flashing of your roof is peeling away or damaged, it will reduce the effectiveness of your roofing system and let in the elements.

  • Damage to timbers

    In your attic, check the timbers carefully for signs of stress. If they have warped or cracked then the structural integrity of your roof is compromised.

If your roof experiences damage from the cold weather over the autumn and winter months, make sure you have it fixed by the very best. Groom & Co are a highly experienced and well-regarded roofing contractor with years of experience completing roof repairs to the highest standard. Get in touch and receive a quote, and possibly even the repair itself, in under 24 hours by calling 0800 6444 777 or emailing