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How Storms Affect Cedar Roofs: Snow, Wind, Ice and Water Damage

When a storm hits your neighborhood, your roof acts as a primary defense barrier, leaving it susceptible to potential damage. Cedar roofs tend to resist winter weather conditions, such as wind or snow, better than other materials. Even with its exceptional weather resistance qualities, your cedar roof will require a thorough inspection to assess its condition and professional repair from our experts. These measures prevent further damage and ensure long-lasting performance after a storm.

Let's explore how different storms affect cedar roofs to gain insight into how to protect your roofing system throughout the year.

How Snow Affects Cedar Roofs

In the winter, snowstorms are common in coastal New York and Connecticut. Even though a cedar roof is resistant to snow and ice, older shingles can suffer some damage over time. An intense blizzard, where a large amount of snow builds up and weighs down on your roof, is most likely to cause damage. If your shingles and underlayment break from the weight, the snow could melt and leak water into your home.

Cedar roof covered in snow during the winter

You can prevent extensive damage from snow with the following methods:

  • Assess your roof: Checking your property for signs of storm damage, such as broken shingles or worn-out underlayment, is necessary after a storm. Work with our expert technicians for an inspection that provides a clear picture of your roof's condition, enabling you to identify issues that would otherwise go undetected and address the source of the problem.

  • Clear the snow: While roofs are built to carry loads, cleaning snow off after a storm is still crucial to prevent it from accumulating and burdening the structure. Additionally, if a large amount of snow melts, the water can make its way into your home and cause issues.

  • Examine your insulation: Proper insulation stops heat from escaping your home and helps minimize the rapid freezing and thawing of the snow on your roof, preventing potential damage caused by swift thermal changes. You will want to examine your attic and address any problems with your insulation.

How Wind Affects Cedar Roofs

Your local area can experience heavy windstorms at any time of the year. Fortunately, cedar shake roofs are more resistant to wind damage than other materials. Unlike asphalt shingles or metal panels, wood shingles can withstand intense wind speeds to keep your home safe from the elements. On the other hand, if you have worn-out shingles, you might discover the following wind damage to roof shingles:

  • Debris from trees: During a heavy windstorm, a tree branch could release needles, leaves and twigs onto your roof. This debris could cause mildew growth when it holds onto moisture. You can prevent wind damage to roof shingles by removing overhanging branches. However, after the storm has passed, you will still want to check your roof for debris and call our professional for a proper inspection and roof cleaning.

  • Displaced shakes: Even though wind damage to wood shake shingles is unlikely, older shingles or shakes could shift out of place during a heavy storm. This displacement leaves gaps in your roof and exposes the underlayment and framing beneath the shingles. In that case, you will need expert roof repair from skilled technicians who use industry-standard techniques and high-quality roofing material.

  • Cracked or split shingles: During intense windstorms, a dead branch could snap off your tree and crack or break your shingles. You'll want to replace those roof pieces as soon as possible to protect your home from the elements. A professional from Cedar Roof Coatings will quickly repair any displaced, split or cracked cedar shingles you may have.

  • Leaks: Missing shingles expose and wear down the underlayment, leaving your roof vulnerable to water damage. You can check your attic for drips and wet spots on the walls, ceiling or insulation.

How Ice Affects Cedar Roofs

During snowstorms, ice can form on your roof. If you don't have adequate attic insulation, snow could melt in some parts of your roof and freeze in others. As a result, the accumulated water on your property can form ice dams. Even though icicles may look pretty, they can wear down on your roof shingles and cause them to crack.

You can prevent ice damage to your cedar roof with the following methods:

  • Inspect your roof: Check your roof for missing or damaged shingles and have our professionals replace them as necessary.

  • Check the flashing and vents: Besides your shingles, you should also inspect your roof's flashing and ventilation. The flashing protects the vulnerable parts of your roof from water accumulation and ventilation safeguards your roof from humidity by providing adequate airflow.

  • Clean out the gutters: Your roof's gutters are responsible for carrying water away from your property. If they're clogged, melted snow could accumulate and freeze when the temperature drops again. Clean the leaves and debris out of your gutters to prevent ice from forming on your cedar shingles or shakes.

  • Examine your attic ventilation: Your attic ventilation controls the humidity and airflow surrounding your roof. Improper ventilation and insulation could make your roof vulnerable to warm spots that melt the snow and cold spots that freeze it again. Reach out to our roofing experts to assess or repair the ventilation in your attic.

How Rain Affects Cedar Roofs

Rain can soak through your untreated cedar roof and damage it. After a rainstorm, check for the following signs of a water-damaged cedar roof:

  • Leaks: Missing, damaged or worn-out shingles allow water to leak through your roof. A leak is easy and safe to find inside your home. Go to your attic and look for water spots on the walls or ceiling. As cedar roof specialists, we can help you find the source of the leak and conduct the necessary repairs.

  • Moss growth: Since cedar is an organic material, it needs to breathe. If your property has dark or shady areas away from the sun, leftover rain won't dry. Instead, it will lead to mold, mildew and moss growth on top of your shingles. Check your property for green, fuzzy spots a few days after a rainstorm. Schedule a professional cleaning if necessary.

  • Curling or cupping: It's natural for your wood shingles to expand and contract due to changes in temperature and humidity. On the other hand, living in a moist, humid environment can make your shingles curl and cup to the point where they create gaps that allow water to leak into your home. Check your property for cedar shakes or shingles with curved edges.

  • Discolored plywood: Rainstorms can also affect the plywood framing under your roof, shingles or shakes. Water can impact this framing's color and integrity, leading to wood rot. If you notice gaps in your roof shingles, get in touch with our roofing experts and we will check your plywood and make the necessary repairs.

  • Damaged underlayment: The material underneath your cedar roof shingles can become damaged when exposed to water. When our team inspects your plywood framing, they'll also check the underlayment.

How to Prevent Water Damage to Your Cedar Roof

You can prevent water damage to your roof's shakes or shingles by having a professional apply water-resistant treatment to your roofing material. Our experts at Cedar Roof Coating exclusively use TWP 200® Series coat because of its ability to prevent water absorption and maintain your cedar roof's luxurious appearance.

Even though treating your roof is the most effective line of defense against water damage, you can also prevent moss growth by removing debris and power-washing your roof. You can keep water from pooling on your shingles by clearing out your gutters and having our professionals clean, inspect and maintain your roof.

Contact Cedar Roof Coatings for Weather-Damaged Roof Repairs

Cedar Roof Coatings specializes in wood shake and shingle repair, inspection and maintenance in coastal New York and Connecticut. If your community has recently experienced a storm, you probably want peace of mind that everything on top of your house is still in excellent condition. In that case, you can contact us online or call 203-847-5740 for a complete roof inspection.

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1 Comment

Oct 13, 2021

If such problems can occur with the Cedar roofs then why don't people go with the metal roofs. Such problems are not seen with those roofs. They can contact roof repair experts and ask them to help them installing the metal roofs in their apartment.

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