How Weather Impacts Your Roof


The weather in West Michigan can take a serious toll on your home and your roof. Living in a climate with four seasons and extreme weather patterns, it’s important to understand the short-term and long-term impact that weather can have on your roof. By better understanding how adverse weather impacts your roof, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about why and when to have your roof inspected, repaired, or replaced.

Winter Weather: Low temperatures and significant snowfall are the perfect recipe for ice damming. Ice damming occurs when the heat from the interior of your home melts the snow on your roof. As the snow runs down your roof and into your gutters, it can refreeze and start to build up. Ice dams typically develop at your eave and in the valleys of your roof. As the ice dam grows your roof loses its water-shedding ability and water can back up and get into your house. If accessible, a great way to prevent ice damming is to rake the snow off 3-6 feet up from the eave. If you develop significant ice damming, we are one of Grand Rapid’s only roofing contractors who offer high-pressure steam removal. This is the best way to remove ice dams and prevent damage to your roof system. Ice build-up will not only lead to leaking but can cause major damage to your roof and ultimately reduce its serviceable life.

Spring Weather: April showers bring May Flowers, but they also bring roof leaks. Shingled roof systems by design are not waterproof, but instead are water-resistant, meaning they are intended to shed water. As your roof ages, it can lose its water-shedding ability as sealants, accessories, and other changes in the roof system begin to make it susceptible. Brown spots on the ceiling are typically indicative of a roofing issue and should not be ignored. Catching a roof leak early and addressing it can save you thousands of dollars in interior damage. Not only that but small leaks when left untreated can turn into major costly repairs, or even require replacement. Don’t ignore even the smallest roof leak!

Summer Weather: If you live in West Michigan, you know that summer is one of our state’s best seasons. With more than 13,000 lakes in the State, a lot of us can be found spending summer days and nights enjoying the water and warm weather. The relatively high temperatures that accompany Michigan Summers combined with the relatively large temperature swings, can be hard on your roof. As the roof ages, the UV inhibitors in the roof system begin to disintegrate. Once a roof begins losing its UV stability, hot summer sun and high temperature lead to expansion and contraction and thermal cracking (Cracks in the Shingles). Additionally, as the shingle loses its UV stability the granule adhesive loosens and your roof will begin to lose granules. Granule loss is the #1 indicator that your roof is nearing the end of its useful life.

Fall Weather: Fall is undoubtedly one of Michigan’s most spectacular seasons. As the leaves change, they also start to fall and debris both on your roof and in your gutters can spell trouble for your roof. It’s important to clear debris from your roof and gutters to prevent water backups and leaking into your interior. At Summit Point Roofing we offer gutter cleaning, gutter protection, and gutter maintenance and replacement.

Inclement weather can also play a role in the degradation of your roof. The two largest contributors to roof damage are hail and wind. Hailstones (when marble size or larger) can ruin the structural integrity of your shingle. While somewhat rare here in West Michigan, we do have 1-2 hail events per year that can cause major damage. Just like hail, wind can cause major damage to your roof. Wind can and will break shingle seals, blow off shingles, and in some cases impact the structural integrity of your roof. If you experience hail at your home, it’s important to call a licensed West Michigan Roofing Company for a free inspection. At Summit Point Roofing our HAAG Certified Inspectors are trained in identifying hail and wind damage, and can help assist you in the insurance claim process should the damage necessitate a claim.

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