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Roof Leaking in Winter?

Close-up of heavy snow on roof

From picture-perfect snowy days to cozy nights around the fire, winter certainly has its perks. Unfortunately, winter also brings iced-over windshields, slick sidewalks and, in some cases, leaky roofs. But what causes roofs to leak in the wintertime? Scroll down to learn about what causes roof leaking in winter – and what you can do to prevent this issue.

Roof Leaking in Winter?

Causes of Winter Roof Leaking

There are a wide variety of reasons your roof might be leaking during the colder months of the year. Here are a few of the most common issues:

  • Ice Dams: Ice dams are one of the most common causes of winter roof leaks. Ice dams are ridges of ice that form at the edge of your roof, blocking the natural flow of water and trapping any melted snow on your roof. This makes a roof leak more likely, as water can easily flow into damaged seams and other cracks.
  • Attic Condensation: When temperatures drop to extremely low levels – usually below 10 degrees – and moist, warm attic air meets the cold roof deck, that air can melt the gathering frost. The frost then leaks through your ceiling, creating a frustrating mess.
  • Damaged Roof Membrane: Winter weather conditions can take a toll on roof membranes. Repeated freezing and thawing can create cracks and, eventually, serious leaks in older roofs.
  • Damaged Roof Seams: As you might expect, the seams on your roof are always the most vulnerable to water damage. If your roof’s seams are already faulty, you might experience some serious leaks.

How to Prevent Seasonal Roof Damage

While winter roof damage can have extreme consequences, it’s far from inevitable. There are a few things you can do right now to ensure your roof stays strong all winter long:

  • Check for Damage: Before and after major snowfall, routinely check your roof and the surrounding areas for any signs of water damage. Look for things like worn-out shingles, rot, broken seals, and clogged plumbing vents. If you’re not sure what to look for, reach out to a trusted roofing professional for help inspecting your roof.
  • Clean Your Gutters: Cleaning your home’s gutters is one of those annoying household tasks that makes a serious impact. It’s extremely important to check your gutters frequently and remove any build-up from leaves or other debris. This will keep them functioning when it matters most: in times of high precipitation and snowfall.
  • Check Your Attic Regularly: Many homeowners don’t notice a roof leak until the water damage becomes extreme. To catch leaks before they leave lasting damage, make sure to keep an eye on your attic. Look for new stains on walls or ceilings, and be sure to check the general area for mold or wet insulation.


If your roof is leaking in winter, there could be several factors at play. Fortunately, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to ensure your roof holds up all winter long. Remember: A safe, warm home starts with a reliable roof, and a reliable roof requires regular inspections.

Are you worried about your roof leaking in winter? If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Taylor-Made Roofingfor help with your roofing needs. Our experts can help you explore new roofing options, maintain an older roof, perform emergency repairs, complete tear-offs and recovers, and perform remodeling services. With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing, Taylor-Made Roofing is a company that you can trust with all of your roofing needs. Our family-owned business offers quality services, a reassuring warranty, and free estimates. For more information regarding roofing options, ice dam prevention, and more, please give us a call at 417-326-8778 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fully licensed and insured, Taylor-Made Roofing is ready to take care of your roof.
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