What You Need to Know About Snow Melting on Your Roof 

Believe it or not, a snow-covered roof is actually an indication of a healthy roof. While snow accumulation is often dreaded by many homeowners, it’s an excellent opportunity to inspect your roof for hot spots by looking for signs of snow melt. The best time to check the status of your roof is after a snowfall to see if there are any areas on the roof where the snow has melted. It’s normal for some melting to occur around venting and fireplace exhausts, but you shouldn’t notice any bare patches on your roof.

Ice dam in gutter and ice frozen on roof in winter.

Patches of Melted Snow

A snow-covered roof means that your attic is doing its job, whereas bare patches or melting snow is a sign of poor insulation or ventilation in the attic. Another sign to be on the lookout for is the presence of icicles, which is another sign that heat loss is occurring. If your roof is warm enough to melt the bottom layer of snow, but cold enough to refreeze it as it drains to your gutters, then your roof is allowing heat to escape. This can result in higher energy bills and lower energy efficiency. Ice dams may also develop.

Ice Dams

Melting snow can wreak other types of havoc on your roof. Since the snow is melting due to heat loss from your home, the melted snow may refreeze once it travels off of your roof, resulting in ice dams which appear as icicles on the gutters. Water trapped by ice dams can travel between shingles or under soffits, eventually showing up as water dripping down into your ceilings or walls.

Inadequate Attic Insulation

If your attic isn’t properly insulated, it’s possible you may notice patchy spots of melting snow in areas where the heat is being trapped, and also where the heat is able to escape.

Missing Shingles

Missing shingles are a sure sign that your roof is in need of replacement. The main problem with missing shingles is they allow water to leak into your attic, and also allows heat to escape.

Roof Decking Deterioration

The roof decking is a structural component of your roof. Unfortunately mold and mildew can grow and build up on damaged roof decking due to leaks, having a negative impact on the health of your roof, and increasing the likelihood of structural damage. The sooner you address a roof problem, the better. If you wait, it could cost you way more money than replacing the roof if you have to make structural repairs in addition to the cost of the roof itself.

Gaps Around Chimney or Vents

Gaps around the chimney or roof vents may cause the water from melting snow to leak into your home. Failed seals around the chimney or roof vents can also lead to an increase in utility bills as the heat literally escapes out of your roof.

Ideally snow should melt according to the temperature outside and not be influenced by the temperature inside of your home. If the snow on your roof is melting at an inconsistent rate, especially compared to your neighbor’s roof, then it may be time to investigate, or better yet, seriously consider having a new roof installed.

Are You in Need of a New Roof?

Your roof and attic are critical when it comes to protecting your home from the elements, especially in the winter months. If you’re in need of a new roof, don’t despair. Contact your local, trusted roofing professionals at Armorvue Home Exteriors. We’ll ensure that you and your home are properly covered all year long.


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