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A roof already in disrepair can get worse during the winter. Repeated freeze-thaw cycles caused by temperature fluctuations lead to expansion and contraction of many building materials. This causes the roof to develop clear signs of wear and tear such as curling, cracking, and splitting. Before these problems get worse, the roof must be repaired or removed and replaced. Materials that are very sensitive to thermal instability react differently in bad weather and as such care should be taken to choose products that are not as sensitive to thermal fluctuations. DaVinci Roofscapes' slate and shake roofing materials are engineered to withstand freeze-thaw cycles.
Another common problem that home and commercial building owners face during the winter is the formation of ice dams. These sometimes beautiful, yet dangerous chunks of ice are formed when melted water re-freezes when it reaches the edge of the roof. This is primarily caused by the absence of heating at the edge of the roof as opposed to other areas where warmth from the attic is present. Roofs that have a low slopes and large overhangs are more susceptible to ice dam formation. Proper attic insulation and ventilation in the house are proven solutions that can be implemented to help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof and creating problems. You might also want to consider snowguards. This should be taken into consideration whether you have a cedar shake roof or use polymer roof tiles.
Additionally, thick ice is very difficult to remove and can cause damage to roof when attempts are made to crack it. While chemical de-icers are possible solutions, these can cause corrosion, discoloring and harmful exposure to some types of chemicals.
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