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The Effects of Winter on Your Roof, Gutters, and Windows

Ice, rain, snow, and cold weather directly affect the foundations of our houses and even deteriorate the structure of roofs, windows, walls, and most of all, gutter systems. The continuous freeze-and-thaw cycle can damage the piping, paint, strength, and gutters of houses. However, with some preventative measures and regular upkeep, you can take control of your home and protect it from the harsh season.

Winter and Roofs

Winter and cold can damage rooftops in several ways. With Pittsburgh’s snow, the large collection of ice and snow inside gutters and shingles can put additional weight on top of the roofs of your home. Eventually, the extra stress may accelerate the wear and tear, leading to permanent damage to the structure. Collapsing roofs and roof damage is a common theme in climates like Pittsburgh that receive heavy snowfall.

The different types of snow also play a direct and vital role in measuring stress on your roof. For example, packed snow or snow that has been compressed or accumulated will weigh more and put more force than lighter and freshly fallen snow. On average, a new and well-maintained rooftop can withstand about 20 pounds of snow per square foot. On the other hand, 10 to 12 inches of fresh snow will weigh around five pounds per square foot of roof space. So, a good roof could stand up to four feet of freshly fallen snow. In contrast, only three to five inches of packed snow is enough to cause damage to the roof and your house.

The freezing and thawing process of snow and melt is another way Pittsburgh winters damage homes and rooftops. When not cleaned, the accumulated snow on top of roofs will begin to collect inside the gutter systems between shingles and edges. The snow will then melt and refreeze due to the temperature change. Of course, the house’s heating system and the climate play a part in this.

The continuous cycle will cause ice dams and blockages. Eventually, this will trap water in the roof, especially inside the gutters, and cause downspouts. While icicles falling from the roofs may seem like a winter dream house, in reality, it is dangerous and often a sign that ice has built up along the eaves. Unfortunately, this also means that the roof and gutters are being damaged, and you need to call Pittsburgh gutter cleaners.

Winter and Gutters

When the snow melts and refreezes, it forms ice. Ice is naturally heavier than any other form of condensation in Pittsburgh. Build up of ice inside the gutters will load the canals very quickly, and the gutters will come loose and start to pull away from the house.

Even worse, the snow and ice sitting on the roof will seep down to your walls and into your homes. When the gutters are overlooked, especially during the winters of Pittsburgh, the accumulation of melt, snow, ice leads to blocked drains, gutters. The water will have no place to escape and may leak down into the walls and foundations of the house. This may cause wall damage, structural damage, rotting, and even attract pests and rodents. See

The easiest way to stay safe from damaged winter gutters is by getting your roofs and gutter cleaned by a professional gutter cleaning service in Pittsburgh. For more information on safeguarding your gutters this winter, see: How to Prepare Your Gutters For Winter in Pittsburgh.

Winter and Windows

Winters also cause windows to frost. This happens when there is cold air outside and moist air inside the home. The moisture from inside will be drawn to the window panes and solidify when it comes into contact with the cold temperature (below the dew point).

The frost will melt after a while, forming liquid. The liquid will naturally fall, dripping on the windows, window frame, and sill, and even down the walls of your house. This will lead to moisture being trapped in the walls, which may even cause molds. Prevent frosting by weather sealing windows and door weather stripping.

Call Pittsburgh Service is a gutter cleaning company offering a 4-step gutter maintenance process to keep your gutters squeaky clean and ready for the Pittsburgh winter and snowfall. We provide a variety of home maintenance services. Visit us online or call/text us today (412) 353-6018.


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