5 Common Commercial Roof Problems Caused by Winter Weather

There is no doubt the winter season puts your commercial roof to the test. The chilling temperatures, the wind, debris, and weight of the snow and ice can create many potential roofing problems.

In this post, we’ll address some of the most common commercial roof problems caused by winter weather so you are aware of them and know what to look for this winter.

Damage from tree branches

Tree branches can cause lots of damage. It’s common for branches to fall during winter storms. The combination of strong windows and trees close to your building can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure you trim trees that are close to your building to reduce the odds of branches falling on your roof during winter storms.

Ice dams

This is common. It’s an issue that can arise on all types of commercial roofs. It is the result of ice and water build up on the roof, especially during times of the year where the temperature yo-yo’s above and below freezing. They can cause serious water damage, often leading to water leaking into your building. Good ventilation and attic insulation are the main options to help prevent ice dams from developing.

Cracked or damaged flashing

This is a common issue for sloped commercial roofs. Winter storms and wind can cause flashing to crack, bend, and move out of place. This creates a seam for water to get under the surface of your roofing materials, and potentially creating water damage issued inside your building. You can prevent this by inspecting your flashing regularly.


Condensation happens when the cool air and warm air come in contact. In terms of your commercial roof, this often happens when you have poor insulation. This can lead to mold issues inside your building and damage to the exterior structure on the roof. Make sure your roof has proper ventilation and insulation to reduce the chance of having condensation issues.


Icicles form in a similar way to ice dams. However, they tend to create issues in your gutters and downspouts. They can become extremely heavy and place a lot of pressure on your gutters, sometimes causing them to break. Icicles can also be an injury or damage hazard to anyone or anything that is directly below them. To prevent them from forming, make sure you clear your eaves and gutters from debris prior to winter to clear the path for water to escape.

While some of these issues are not avoidable – you can’t control the weather, taking steps to be proactive with roof maintenance and get your roof ready for winter can help minimize the impact of these common problems.