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

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

Cedar roofing tends to be more resistant to weather damage than other materials. Even if your neighborhood experiences a heavy rainstorm, snowstorm or hurricane, you can have a professional repair your roof. Explore how different storms affect wood shingle roofing to know how to protect yours throughout the year.

How Snow Affects Cedar Roofing

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. The most likely winter storm to damage cedar roofing shingles is an intense blizzard, where a large amount of snow builds up and weighs down on your roof. If your shingles and underlayment break from the weight, the snow could melt and leak water into your home.

After a snowstorm, it's helpful to check your property for signs of storm damage, such as broken shingles or worn-out underlayment. You can prevent damage to your property by cleaning snow off your roof and installing the proper attic insulation. Since cedar roofs have excellent thermal insulation, ensure your attic stays warm and melts the snow off your roof.

How Wind Affects Cedar Roofing

Your local area can experience heavy windstorms at any time of the year. Cedar shake roofing is 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 cedar shakes.

  • 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. After the storm has passed, check your roof for debris and schedule a professional 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.

  • 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 have those roofing pieces replaced as soon as possible to protect your home from the elements.

  • 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.

You can prevent signs of storm damage to your roof by removing overhanging branches and having your worn-out shingles replaced by a professional. After a windstorm, look at pictures of wind damage to shingles to see what wind can do to your roof. A professional will quickly repair any displaced, split or cracked cedar shingles you may have.

How Ice Affects Cedar Roofing

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 water that has accumulated 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 roofing with the following methods.

  • Inspect your roof: Check your roofing for missing or damaged shingles and have a professional 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 control the flow of 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. Contact a roofing professional to check or repair the ventilation in your attic.

How Rain Affects Cedar Roofing

Rain can soak through your untreated cedar roofing and damage it. After a rainstorm, check the following signs of water damage to wood shake shingles.

  • Leaks: Missing, damaged or worn-out shingles allow water to leak through your roofing. 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. Contact a professional to repair the leaks in your home.

  • 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, contact a professional to 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 a specialist inspects your plywood framing, they'll also check the underlayment.

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 stain 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 a professional 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 reach out to us online or call 203-847-5740 for a complete roof inspection.

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