Whitaker Roofing Salt Lake City Utah

Winter Roof Damage Risks to Avoid

At least in a place like Salt Lake City or any other part of Utah, where winter brings cold weather and significant elements, there’s little question this is the toughest season of the year on your home’s roof. Between the temperatures themselves and things like snow buildups, ice deposits and more, there are a few damage risks to the roof during winter that simply aren’t present during the bulk of the other times of the year.

At Whitaker Roofing, we’re here to help protect you from these risks. Not only do we offer quality roof repair and maintenance services in case any forms of damage crop up, but we’re also happy to provide regular expertise on how to avoid these damage risks altogether, ensuring our repair programs aren’t even needed. What are a few of the most common such winter-related roof damage issues that may arise if you’re not careful, and how can you both spot and prevent them? Here’s a primer.

Ice Dams

When the upper area of your roof begins to thaw, but the lower parts are still frozen, this can cause the water to travel back, forming what’s called an ice dam. These dams are unsightly and if they’re allowed to build up, will eventually lead to leaks that go right into your home.

Avoiding and preventing ice dams comes down to quality roofing and gutter systems that allow for proper drainage flow. Your gutters should be able to move water down and away from the roof, preventing ice dams before they ever start.


Another significant winter risk to your roof is condensation. While the air outside is cold, the roofs within your home are warm, and a seemingly innocent enough form of moisture does a significant amount of damage when it meets up with cold weather.

Condensation should be prevented by ensuring proper ventilation in your roof spaces. This can come from ridge vents or light penetration devices, both of which allow for proper air movement and prevent condensation.

Flashing Leaks

Due to both ice and other heavy winter weather conditions, your home’s flashing around vents and chimneys can be particularly vulnerable to damage. This is especially true for older homes, where such features may not have been as well designed or installed as newer ones.

Preventing flashing leaks requires the use of proper sealants and caulking materials at all points where two surfaces come together. For instance, you can use low-expansion spray foam at vent openings. It’s also important to ensure that all fasteners are properly secured, preventing screws from working loose and leading to larger roofing issues.

Tree Limbs

Tree limbs can be a threat to roofs throughout the year, but they present specific dangers in the winter when they’re weighed down by snow and ice. Limbs that otherwise wouldn’t have come into contact with your roof may still present damage if their weight brings them down.

Preventing tree limb damage involves either removing the limbs or at least pruning back all branches that hang near your roof in order to reduce weight loads. If you do let branches grow, make sure they’re not so heavy that they could potentially cause problems when winter comes around.

For more on common winter roofing damage risks and how to avoid them, or to learn about any of our roofing repair, roofing installation or other roof services, speak to the team at Whitaker Roofing today.