Snowy, icy winter weather can wreak havoc on your home’s roof

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hopefully you enjoyed the nice weather this week, as the metro is looking at the prospect of even more snow this weekend.

All the snow and ice this season can really take a toll on your home's roof.

Brian McHenry with Xcel Roofing's had a busier than usual winter.

"I'm going to check under the shingle on the eave as we are going up to see what’s going on there," McHenry said.

This day, McHenry was checking for a common winter culprit for roof damage: ice dams.

"Maybe leftover ice damming you can see here," McHenry said.

Ice dams are typically caused by two things: not enough insulation in the house and inadequate ventilation.

"What happens is that causes the snow to melt and when it gets to the gutters, it causes ice to begin to form and as that ice backs up, it gets under the shingles and could damage the decking, shingles as well as the soffit," McHenry said.

There's a good chance you've got a problem if you notice your neighbors have snow on the roof and you don't. Another warning sign is big icicles forming around the gutters.

Left unchecked, ice dams can become a nightmare.

"They can cause water leaks inside the house. They can damage the wood and if untreated can also cause black mold," McHenry said.

For an existing roof, adding better ventilation and insulation can be a lasting fix to prevent ice dams from forming. Xcel installs new roofs with an ice and water shield to block them too.

If you notice the warning signs of ice dams, use caution before trying to remove icy spots yourself.

"It does help if you can scrape some of that off the edge.  Be careful not to damage your shingles when doing that," McHenry said.

Experts recommend you never try to get on your roof by yourself to check out damage.  Call a licensed and insured company to come have a look.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.