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How Well Do Cedar Roofs Withstand Snow and Ice?

Updated: Oct 12


New England winters are notoriously long and often brutal — accentuated by heavy snowfall, high winds and chilly temperatures. During those winter months, you want to be sure you and your family are warm, comfortable and well-protected, especially at home. Cedar roofs are popular options for many local homeowners because they’re naturally beautiful and durable, but how well do they hold up in extreme wintry conditions? Cedar shakes and shingles are some of the best roofing materials available and can outperform alternative roofing like asphalt shingles — even during hail storms and extremely high-speed winds.

How Well Do Cedar Roofs Withstand Snow, Sleet and Ice?

When a severe winter storm swirls throughout your neighborhood, your roof is directly hit by harsh and potentially damaging elements like hail, wind, sleet and dense snowfall. While some roofing materials may be severely damaged by the winter weather, your quality cedar roofing was specially designed to perform exceptionally in extreme climates. If you find yourself in a blizzard or intense sleet, you can rest assured that your cedar roofing will stay in pristine condition without suffering extensive damage or wear. Cedar shingles can withstand winds of up to 173 mph and up to 90 pounds per square foot, while cedar shakes offer exceptional durability by being able to withstand winds traveling up to 245 mph and up to 180 pounds per square foot.

When ice falls from the sky, can your cedar roofing really protect your home without succumbing to extensive damage? While vehicles, outdoor furniture and landscaping can be ruined by hail, your cedar roofing is highly impact-resistant with hail up to 2 inches in diameter and traveling up to 71 mph. With marble-sized hail, homeowners can expect only superficial damage to their cedar roof. Light depressions caused by hail will not cause your shakes or shingles to split. Over time, minor damage caused by hail will disappear through natural weathering.

However, like any roofing material, cedar roofs will experience extensive damage, like splitting, with large-sized hail. These problems should be repaired quickly, otherwise shakes and shingles can experience rapid deterioration and eventually form holes that affect the lifespan and durability of your roof.

Properly Preparing Your Cedar Roofing for Winter

Before winter starts, you may be concerned about the quality of your cedar roof and unsure of how it will withstand snow and ice buildup. While severe winter storms are a frightening potential, by properly preparing your cedar roof in advance, you can ensure it will remain durable and reliable throughout any climate. As winter approaches, call your trustworthy local cedar roofing maintenance company to thoroughly inspect your roof or perform these cold weather preparation tasks to keep your roof in quality condition:

  • Inspect cedar shakes and shingles: Look over all your cedar shingles and shakes, checking for any damage like curling or cracking, and securely fasten any loose materials that could blow off during a storm.

  • Check flashing, vents and decks: These parts are essential for allowing proper roof drainage, and over time, they can become loose and allow leaks.

  • Clean out gutters: Debris buildup in your gutters is not only unattractive, but it can also prevent proper drainage during snowmelt and can cause ice dams and other issues.

  • Clear any debris: Inspect your roof valleys and clear out any leaves and branches that have collected and may allow snow to pile up and leak water into your home.

  • Look over attic ventilation: Keep your attic ventilation clear to ensure proper air circulation, which will prevent excessive snow and ice buildup on your roof.

To ensure your roof stays in good condition during the winter months, ask your local roofing professional about installing a new snow guard. Snow guards are a great tool for catching snowfall, as well as preventing damage to your roof and personal injury.

Call Cedar Roof Coatings Today for Quality Winter Weather Roofing Repair and Maintenance

For over 35 years, Cedar Roof Coatings has been the most trusted and knowledgeable cedar roofing company serving homeowners throughout Fairfield County, Connecticut, and Westchester County, New York. We’re a family-owned and operated company, and our team of highly skilled and trained experts specializes in the preservation, restoration and maintenance of cedar roofing. We guarantee your cedar roofing will look pristine and properly protect your family throughout any winter weather conditions.

Schedule winter weather roofing maintenance services today by calling us at 203-847-5740, or complete our online contact form to request a free service estimate.


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