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Winter Roof Leak & Ice Dam Repair In the Grand Rapids Area

Winter weather conditions can make a bad roof a whole lot worse. If you have a roof leak during the winter it could be due to ice dams, snow, damaged shingles, or poor flashing. For almost 20 years, Premier Roofing & Exteriors has been helping homeowners in Grand Rapids and surrounding areas in West Michigan to figure out why their roof leaks in the winter. Call or contact us to get started!


4 Causes of Roof Leaks in the Winter

  1. Ice dams
    Ice dams on the roof can impede the proper drainage of melting snow, resulting in water pooling on the roof. This pooled water may infiltrate the roof through cracks or gaps in the roofing material, leading to leaks.
  2. Snow buildup on the roof
    Heavy snowfall, combined with freezing temperatures, can result in a significant load on the roof. This added weight can create stress on the roofing structure and potentially lead to leaks.
  3. Freeze-thaw cycles
    Michigan experiences frequent freeze-thaw cycles during winter. The expansion and contraction of water as it freezes and thaws can weaken roofing materials over time, leading to potential leaks.
  4. Poor ventilation
    Cold temperatures outside and warm temperatures inside can create condensation within the attic or roof space. If not properly ventilated, this moisture can contribute to the development of mold and cause leaks.

what are ice dams?

Ice dams are walls of ice that build up along the edges of roofs during snowy weather. They occur when heat from inside the home causes snow on the roof to melt. The melted snow then refreezes at the roof's colder edges, forming a dam. This dam prevents proper drainage of melting snow, causing water to pool on the roof. In places like Michigan with cold winters, this phenomenon is frequent and can result in water seeping through the roof, potentially causing leaks and damage.

Common Signs you have ice damming:

  • Icicles on roof icon
    Icicles on roof
    and gutter edges
  • Built-up ice icon
    Built-up ice on
    exterior walls
  • Water damage icon
    Interior water
  • Drainage issues icon
    stop draining
  • Melted snow icon
    Melted snow only
    near the top of your roof

Common Ice Dam Damage

Will Insurance Cover Ice & Snow Damage to My Home?

A homeowners insurance policy may provide coverage for ice and snow-related damage as a result of extreme weather. However, your insurance may not cover damage to your home as a result of long-term wear or previously damaged parts of your home. It’s recommended to reach out to your insurance provider to confirm the coverage provided by your insurance policy.

Can a Roof be Replaced or Repaired in the Winter? 

Yes, if your roof needs replacement or repairs in the winter you should not wait until the spring. Most aspects of replacements or repairs can happen during the winter months to maintain its protective ability and prevent further damage. Contact Premier Roofing today to get your free roof repair quote.

How to Prevent Roof Leaks in the Winter

The best way to prevent roof leaks caused by Ice dams or snow is by controlling heat loss from the home. Depending on your timeline and budget, there are several ways to prevent winter roof damage immediately and in the long-term:

Immediate Action

  • Remove snow from your roof. Snow is an essential item for the formation of an ice dam. A “roof rake” or push broom can be used to remove snow. 
  • In emergencies where water has already begun flowing into the home, it may be possible to stop the leaking by making holes or channels through the ice dam to allow the water to drain off the roof. While only a temporary fix, the channel will quickly mitigate the damage to your home until you have access to a permanent solution. 

Long-Term Prevention

  • First, make sure your ceiling is air-tight so no warm, moist air can flow from the house into the attic space. 
  • After sealing air leakage paths between the house and attic space, consider increasing the ceiling and roof insulation to cut down on heat loss by conduction. 
  • Shingles are the first line of defense against the elements, so if there is damage to shingles that needs to be addressed with a repair or replacement.