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How Hail, Ice and Snow Can Damage Your Roof

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The winter weather in Brainerd, MN, can be quite harsh. From hailstorms to heavy snowfall, the winter months present a number of risks that can damage your roof. Understanding how hail, ice, and snow can damage your roof is a crucial step in minimizing costly repairs or replacements in the future. In this blog post, we’ll cover the numerous ways these elements can damage your roof and what you can do to protect it.

How Hail, Ice and Snow Can Damage Your Roof

The Risks of Winter Weather

The winter season in Brainerd can pose numerous threats to your roof, such as hail, ice, and snow. These elements can cause damage to shingles, leaks, and even collapses. Knowing the unique dangers linked with each element is essential to understanding how they may harm your roof.


Hail can cause considerable damage to roofs. The amount of damage hail can cause depends on its size and velocity, but in general, any hail larger than one inch in diameter is capable of producing dents or punctures on the surface of your roof. This often leads to leaks, which could cause further issues down the road that would require major hail damage repair.


Ice can cause damage to roofs in two ways. The first is ice damming, which occurs when melting snow refreezes on the edge of your roof, preventing additional runoff from draining properly. This buildup can eventually seep underneath your shingles and cause leaks, making ice dam removal a top priority. Additionally, extreme cold temperatures can cause shingle granules to break off or even crack due to contraction and expansion caused by temperature changes. 


Snowfall can collapse roofs due to their weight. Wet, heavy snow can damage your roof. If left alone, melting snow on your roof might cause water to infiltrate beneath your shingles and cause leaks. Melting snow that refreezes into ice can also pose problems.

How to Prevent Roof Damage from Hail, Ice and Snow

Taking the necessary steps to prevent roof damage from hail, ice and snow are essential for maintaining a healthy roof. Here are some of the most effective ways to protect your roof during the winter months: 

Keep Gutters and Downspouts Clean

Gutters and downspouts are essential for preventing water from pooling on your roof. Make sure these areas are free of leaves, sticks, or any other debris that could cause clogs and backups. 

Trim Trees

Trees that hang over your roof can cause damage from falling branches and debris. Keep trees trimmed to reduce the risk of this type of damage. 

Remove Snow and Ice Buildup

When snow and ice accumulate on your roof, remove it as soon as possible to keep the weight from building up and damaging the structure of your roof. Consider using a roof rake or a shovel with a soft-edged blade to safely remove any buildup from your roof. 

Seal Any Gaps and Cracks

Gaps and cracks in your roof can let water seep underneath your shingles, leading to leaks. Check for any visible openings on your roof and use a sealant or caulk to fill them in. 

Have Proper Ventilation and Insulation

Proper ventilation and insulation help prevent ice dams by regulating your roof’s temperature. Make sure you have an adequate number of vents installed in your attic, and make sure the insulation is properly sealed to keep cold air out. 

Check Your Flashing

Flashing is a key part of your roofing system. Make sure the flashing around your chimneys, skylights, and other areas is in good condition and sealed properly to keep water out. 

Schedule Regular Inspections

Have your roof professionally inspected at least once a year, ideally before the winter weather begins. This will help ensure any potential issues are caught early and can be fixed before they cause serious damage. 

Install a Waterproof Membrane

Installing a waterproof membrane on your roof can help protect against leaks. This membrane is placed underneath your shingles and helps prevent water from seeping through in the event of a leak. 

Invest in a Roof Heating System

A roof heating system can help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof by keeping snow and ice from accumulating. This is an expensive option up-front, but it could save you thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.

Has Winter Weather Damaged Your Roof? Here’s What to Do

If you find that winter weather has caused damage to your roof, these are a few steps you can take to address the issue:

Assess the Damage

The first step is to assess the damage and determine how extensive it is. If the issue appears to be minor, you may be able to fix it yourself. But if the damage is bigger or more widespread, you should call a roofer for help. 

Contact a Professional

If the damage is more extensive, it’s best to contact a professional roofer for assistance. They will be able to properly diagnose the issue and provide you with a solution that is both cost-effective and long-lasting. 

Seal Any Openings

Once the issue has been diagnosed, it’s important to seal any openings in your roof immediately. This can be done using a sealant or caulk and will help keep water from seeping underneath your shingles and causing further damage. If more extensive repairs are needed, this also serves to protect your home until they can be completed.

Check Your Insurance

Finally, check your insurance policy to see if any of the damage is covered. This can save you time and money in the long run, as some policies may provide coverage for repairs or replacements due to winter weather damage.

Winter weather can take a toll on your roof, but with the right precautions and maintenance, you can avoid costly repairs or replacements. If you need help assessing any potential damage to your roof due to hail, ice or snow in the Brainerd, MN, area, contact us  at Neumann Construction by calling (218) 270-0009 or fill out our online form for an experienced and reliable assessment.