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Preparing Your Metal Roof for Winter: A Quick Guide

Written by Barb Bosak on . Posted in Roof

Living in the Chicago area means culture, world-class architecture, and the best Polish sausage and deep dish pizza on the planet. Oh, and brutal winters. While it still may seem too early to think about snow it’s important to start prepping your home now.

Metal roofs are known for their durability and their insulating properties. But that doesn’t mean that once your metal roof is installed there’s nothing else to be done. Like any roof, a metal roof needs a bit of TLC when the cold weather hits.

Potential Roof Damage Caused by Winter Weather

    • Ice Dams: Ice dams happen when the snow on the lower part of your roof starts to melt and then re-freezes. As the snow behind it melts, the ice creates a dam, trapping the water, which can then back up into your home.
    • Roof Leaks: Ice is insidious. Water can get in through the smallest hole or seam, and when it freezes, it expands. That expansion acts like a crowbar, creating space for leaks and other damage.
    • Snow Slides: Your roof is packed with snow and ice which can quickly become hazardous. Snow and ice don’t often come off in tidy cubes; sometimes a whole sheet comes off at once, causing a hazard for anyone standing below.
    • Leaky Ceilings: If water gets through your roof, it has to go somewhere. Often as not, you’ll find yourself leaving buckets, pots, and pans throughout the house to catch the drips.
    • Gutter Damage: The weight of snow and ice on your gutters can be enough to damage or destroy them. If your gutters freeze, they’re also keeping water from draining properly from your roof.
    • Roof Collapse: In extreme cases — especially after several repeated freeze-thaw cycles — the weight that accumulates on any roof, no matter how well-built, can lead to structural damage or collapse.

How to Prepare Your Metal Roof for Winter

There are some steps you can take to keep Old Man Winter out of your home:

Start Early

You should start by keeping your roof and gutters clear of debris year round to ensure proper drainage. An inspection for condensation and leakage inside your attic in the fall gives you time for needed repairs before the snow comes.

Don’t Let Snow Pile Up

Many of the problems listed above are caused or exacerbated by snow accumulation. A snow rake is a must. If you’re not comfortable getting up on your roof (it’s not for the inexperienced or faint of heart), hire a roofing professional.

Install Snow Guards or Stops

Many metal roofs come with these installed, and you’ve probably seen them. These small projections on the roof help ensure that snow doesn’t melt and come off your roof all at once.

Schedule an Inspection

One of the best things we can suggest is calling an experienced roofer — especially one that specializes in metal roofing — for a pre-season inspection. A roofer like Conrad Roofing has the experience to spot and repair small problems so they don’t become big issues later. We can also give you further advice to make it easier to get through the winter months with your roof — and your sanity — intact.

For more information, or to schedule inspections, roof repairs, custom metal fabrication, or consulting services, call Conrad Roofing of Illinois at 773-286-6212 today.

Company Information

5122 N. Elston Ave.
Chicago, IL 60630


Fax: 773 286.6211


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