Damaging Winter Precipitation

All Around Roofing: Trusted Roofing Denver

After winter precipitation begins to fall is not the time to wonder if a home’s roof is strong enough to handle harsh weather. Cold weather is often accompanied by sleet and freezing rain, both of which can cause significant damage to houses and property. When winter weather damages the rooftop, homeowners may be unaware of it because it’s not easy to see from ground level. For rooftops with undetected damage prior to winter, freezing rain, sleet and hail can be devastating. A Denver roofing expert can pinpoint exactly where a roof has sustained damage and can recommend options to fix the problem.

While they have similarities, sleet and freezing rain are quite different. Both are precipitation, but sleet is already frozen when it falls to the ground as ice pellets. Accumulation of sleet often resembles snow. Freezing rain falls as regular rain does until it makes contact with a cool surface, such as the ground, trees or a rooftop. Upon contact, the rain freezes instantly. Sleet forms when falling snow goes through a warmer area of air and melts into rain. When the rain encounters colder air, it refreezes into ice pellets of sleet.

Freezing rain is formed the same way, except it is supercooled in a larger area of warm air that is also closer to the ground. Because of this, the rain does not have time to refreeze.

Like other forms of precipitation, any accumulation on the rooftop can be hazardous. A buildup of sleet can damage shingles and even cause roof collapse if the accumulation gets too heavy. When the sleet melts, it may cause ice dams to form in the gutters and downspouts. That often leads to water leaking under roofing materials and into the house. While freezing rain may not accumulate as much as sleet, it can be just as damaging when it melts.

While there is no way to prevent these wintry elements from making contact with a house, homeowners should inspect their roof annually to make sure there are no structural weaknesses, damages in roofing materials and areas that may be susceptible to winter weather. After sleet and freezing rain hit the roof, it’s best to remove them and inspect the roof again. Spotting damage to a roof is typically difficult from ground level, so a thorough surface inspection may be required. Denver homeowners who want to avoid the risks of getting on the roof themselves can call in a professional who has expertise in spotting weather damage.

A roofing contractor from All Around Roofing of Denver can answer any questions you have about flat roof systems or insulation. Ask a Question.