How to prevent roofing damages during Western Montana's winter weather

Local roofing experts say appointments are in high demand this time of year for snow removal
Roof Snow Missoula
Posted at 10:05 AM, Jan 19, 2024

MISSOULA — Subzero temperatures and extreme winter weather can cause problems for our pipes, pets, and plants.

It can also be a problem for your rooftops. Local roofing experts tell us appointments are in high demand this time of year for snow removal.

Homeowners are encouraged to meet with roofing experts before winter to make sure their rooftops are equipped to handle the elements that come with the cold.

“The freezing temperatures create ice,” explained Rhino Roofing owner Brian Bovee. “The snow on the roof and the melt will create ice after it refreezes, and they both do quite a bit of damage to the shingles. We live in Missoula. We get extreme heat, cold, wet and dry. And right now, we’re in the cold and wet season and springtime comes and there will be a lot more damage to roofs that wasn’t there in the fall.”

Bovee suggests people set up an appointment before winter due to the busy season.

“The busiest time is late summer, early fall. Everybody wants to get their roof done before the snow falls. We encourage everybody to call in early spring to get [an inspection] before our busy season starts."

A clear indicator that your roof needs to be inspected is if it's more than 15 years old, according to Bovee. For all rooftops, Bovee said there are three common causes of damage.

“[There are] a lot of things a homeowner won’t realize or know that’s bad, whereas, we’re professionals and we know. Whether it’s a pipe flashing or a chimney flashing or even the shingles,” Bovee said.

Proper ventilation in your attic reduces your chances of ice build-up, according to Bovee.

There are two other actions you can take to prevent surprise repairs.

“To prepare for the winter, make sure the gutters are clean. Make sure there’s no debris on the roof such as branches or leaves,” Bovee said.

The roofing expert also suggests avoiding climbing onto your roof due to safety concerns.

For homeowners who don’t receive more snowfall than sunlight, Bovee suggests getting a roof and gutter de-icing kit installed.

It’s a heated wire you can request to be draped across your rooftop to prevent excessive snow buildup.

Bovee says it’s best to make sure your roof is intact sooner rather than later.

“Call a professional before we get this type of weather. Most companies have free inspections,” Bovee said. “That’s the best advice I can give anybody: don't get on the roof unless you absolutely have to, which, still call a professional.”