Our Guide To Preparing Your Roof For Winter

As much as we want to pretend it isn’t coming, we all know winter is on the way. And if fall is any indication of when it will make its arrival, it may be here sooner than we expect.

As Midwesterners, we know what winter brings besides bitter cold temperatures: Snow, snow, snow, and more snow. For homeowners, this means it’s extremely crucial to prepare your homes, and roofs, for the harsh winter to come.

Let’s explore our guide to preparing your roof for winter.

What Are The Most Common Problems?

Like anything with our homes, uncommon circumstances and issues can arise. However, it’s the common issues that lead to the biggest headaches.

Why? Because they are so easy to avoid. With some energy and ambition, preparing your roof for its battle with the most common winter issues is quick and easy.

The most common issues our roofs face in the winter are:

  • Condensation
  • Ice dams
  • Icicles


When it comes to your roof, your attic has a lot of say in whether or not an issue will arise during the winter months. An improperly insulated and ventilated attic is the primary culprit for the development of condensation within your home’s interior structures.

Why is condensation bad? Excess condensation leads to mildew and mold development – two extremely dangerous substances and commonly undetected.

It is essential to implement proper insulation and ventilation in your attic. Without it, your roof will not only become susceptible to excess condensation, it will also become victim to our next major issue.


Often the result of clogged gutters and downspouts, icicles present excessive weight that not only causes damage to your roofing system, but also presents a major hazard to people and pets too. To prevent icicles from forming, make sure to make sure your gutters are clear of leaves, twigs and other debris.

While you are caught up in the world of debris, make sure to ensure all vents are clear of debris as well.

Ice Dams

First things first, what is an ice dam?

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

What causes it? In simplest terms, snow on a roof surface that is above 32 melts, and as this water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32 and freezes. While this process isn’t fully avoidable, it’s catalyzed by an improperly insulated and ventilated attic. Extreme temperature differences within the roofing system lead to an aggressive ice dam forming environment.

The best ways to prevent these ice dams from forming are:

  • Proper insulation and ventilation
  • Clean gutters
  • Periodic removal of snow from your roof

General Inspection

While you have your energy and focus directed at your roof, this is the perfect time to conduct a thorough inspection. Check for missing and damaged shingles, especially around vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights.

It’s also a good idea to check for any dips or ‘valleys’. This small low spots are great spots for water and debris collection, so whether or not your make the repair this fall, make sure to keep an eye on these spots throughout the winter and keep them clear.

Have any immediate questions or concerns regarding your roof and necessary preparation?

Contact our team today at:

or at sales@fargoroofing.com