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snow and ice damage

Snow and Ice Damage

In the Washington DC Metro area our winter weather can bring heavy snow and ice.  Roof and gutter systems are particularly susceptible to damages from these elements.  Even a few inches of snow can cause problems with your roof system.  If you notice any of the following issues with your roof system after a snow or ice storm, contact us at 301-417-1000 for a Free Inspection:

  • Missing or dislodged slates or shingles
  • Missing or damaged snow guards
  • Bent gutters, or gutters torn from the eaves

All of these damages can cause long lasting issues with your roof.  In many cases you may qualify for repairs through your insurance carrier and homeowner’s policy, which will have coverage for snow and ice events.

What roof materials can be damaged by snow or ice?

Major snow and ice can cause an array of problems for lots of different roof materials.  Slate roofing in particular is especially susceptible.  Due to the installation method and the surface texture, combined with the “steepness” of many slate roof systems – snow and ice can more easily slide off a slate roof system.  This can cause slates to become dislodged or entirely removed in the process.

What are ice dams?

Ice dams occur when the snowfall on your roof begins to melt, due to the heat from the attic or living space.  As the heat rises and melts the snow closest to the home, it causes water penetration near the eaves.  The melting ice can refreeze – this can cause serious damages to your gutters and can lead to interior leaks!

When American Custom Contractors replaces a roof system we use Ice & Water Barrier that can help mitigate the problems associated with ice dams.

Image: GAF

Why are snow guards important?

If you have a slate roof, you likely have snow guards.  These devices help to prevent snow and ice from sliding off your roof system during snow melt.  Without snow guards your roof would be susceptible to the snow “avalanching” off your roof.  This can cause damage to the gutter system and can also dislodge slates in the process.   Unfortunately snow guards are not completely failsafe.  If you notice missing or damaged snow guards, you will want to have your roof inspected.  It is likely that if the snow and ice slipped off the roof causing damage to these devices, that it may have also pulled slate tiles out of place as well.

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