The recent snowfall in the southeast was quick to come but is slow to leave. Snowfall can be picturesque on a home but that pretty white roof can also be causing damage that most homeowners are not aware of until it’s too late. Ice Damming is not common in the Southeastern United States but given a quick accumulation of snow built up on a roof at the eves and gutter areas and then back to normal temperatures will lead to similar effects that is seen in the Northeast due to low insulation and heat from the interior of homes. Once the snow or ice builds up, the typical melting process is from the 40% of energy loss through the roof that actually heats up the built up snow or ice and melts from underneath. Homeowners are none the wiser as it isn’t seen but that melted ice usually wicks up underneath the starter and first course of shingles causing severe damage to the plywood decking at the roofs eve. The fascia board also falls victim as the ice melts and runs behind the gutter if not up the roof. Houses in the Northeastern United States usually have ice and water shield along all eves to prevent this from happening, however houses in the Southeast do not. Unless the roof was installed by a Certified Roofing contractor providing either a 5 Star or Golden Pledge Warranty upgrade, there will not be ice and water shield in most cases along the eves under the starter course of shingles. Even then, due to the local building codes in most Southeastern areas, the ice and water shield may not be required. This is something to ask your local certified roofing contractor about.
The bottom line, enjoy the snow but make sure you check your attic space after the snow melts to see if you have signs of leaks caused by the built up snow or ice at the gutter areas. When looking to re-roof your home, look for a Certified Residential Roofing Contractor and find out what they suggest be done during installation as a preventative measure for those once in a blue moon snow falls and ice storms.