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The Most Common Serious Winter Roof Issues

Winter’s ice and snow may tell you more about the state of your roof than anything else this year. Let’s take a look at the most common, serious winter roof issues you may find. We’ll also share advice on what to do if you’re dealing with these winter roof problems.

Ice-Free Patches

Small ice free patches on your roof may be the result of shifting winds. However, large ice-free patches on an otherwise frozen roof indicate a serious problem. You may have a dearth of insulation in those areas; that needs to be remedied if you don’t want to spend far more than necessary on your utility bills. If there is a roof leak, there are really two problems. One issue is the roof leak that has let water seep into the roof so much that your insulation is no longer effective. The other issue is that you have water-logged insulation, and your roof and wood supports may have water damage, too.

What should you do if your roof is ice-free when everyone else’s roof is covered in a layer of ice and snow? Contact us about home insulation services because you obviously don’t have enough, or you’re venting so much heat into the attic that an HVAC expert needs to check things out.


Icicles may look pretty, but they can be a serious warning sign. Heavy icicles falling off of tall buildings can hurt or even kill people. A layer of heavy icicles could pull down your gutters, too. However, they might be a warning sign of something even worse. Behind those icicles is a water dam, since there was enough liquid water to melt and flow over the edge. Ice dams like this will trap water against your roof, allowing it to seep into the shingles and frame. The repeated freezing and thawing it likely undergoes will allow the water to work its way into the structure while causing damage the same way repeated freezing and thawing cause potholes and deepening cracks in our roads.

Don’t grab a pick axe and start hammering at the icicles. Instead, you could consider carefully using a roof rake to pull down the snow that is protecting the liquid water, if it is there. Use tools to break up the ice in your gutters and down spouts. You may need to run hot water through the drains, apply heat tape to the frozen surfaces, or run a line through the spouts and clear out the leaves so that the water can flow away.

While you’re clearing away icicles, check out the tree branches near your roof. You may want to knock a few icicles off the branches bowing down under the weight. This could save you from needing to fix a hole in the roof because the branch fell down.

*We prefer you do not try these steps on your own due to safety concerns – and instead, contact a local reputable Cincinnati roofing contractor such as Harper Siding and Roofing.

The Very Heavy Layer of Snow

Our roofs have weight limits. It is possible for a roof to collapse when it is overloaded. This is unusual but not impossible for private homes. You may need to rake off a layer of snow from the lower edge of the house to allow the rest to slide off. If there are tree branches and other large debris on the roof, you’ll probably want to remove that, especially if it is interfering with the ability of snow to slide off the roof.

Cincinnati Roofing Issues? Call In The Specialists!

In general, you want to call in a professional Cincinnati roofing company to clear the heavy snow off the roof, since you don’t want to go to the Emergency Room for injuries caused by falling off a roof. Need assistance? Give us a ring or use our contact form.