Chinook Roofing Blog

Winterize Your Roof With These Industry Tips

Posted on: November 14, 2014

Last winter, significant roof collapses in New Jersey served as a reminder to reassess roofing conditions in cold, wet seasons. Learn what signs to look for, what damage can occur, and how to prevent winter from costing severe damage to your home or business.

What’s at Stake

Typically flat roofs are most vulnerable to snow damage, because they easily accumulate heavy snow that causes strain. When the weight of snow becomes too much, the roof is compromised. Slanted roofs are not exempt from snow damage, but flat roofs should be especially monitored and evaluated on a regular basis.’s Personal Finance Editor Amy Hoak researched winter roofing damage and talked with industry professionals who projected roof repair costs to fall between $200-$1,000. Yet scheduling repairs is a significant savings compared to a total roof replacement. The lesson: prevention and maintenance are key.

Warning Signs

The picturesque icicles that hang from eaves are actually a roofing red flag. They can signal that an ice dam has built, according to building products company CertainTeed. Ice dams, house heat, and cold temperatures create a vicious cycle of “freeze and thaw,” where snow turns to water, then back to ice, which builds up on the edge of the roof and blocks water from flowing off. Water buildup can then enter the house via the roof.

Potential ice dams forming on the roof edge

Potential ice dams forming on the roof edge

Prevention Checklist 

Prevent winter damage rather than rebounding from it later. Use this checklist to winterize your roof and prepare for this winter and future seasons.

  • See if your roof is under warranty. CertainTeed adds, “A roof that is installed improperly will not be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Make sure you choose an installer who not only is very experienced but is also credentialed by the manufacturer whose product they install.”
  • Do a ventilation check. Check your home’s interior for signs of mildew or mold, rot, and ceiling stains. All can be signs of improper ventilation. Roofing manufacturer GAF offers a Ventilation Calculator to determine the net free area you need based on U.S. VA/FHA Guidelines.
  • Schedule a roof evaluation. Now is the time to have a professional assess your roof so they can make any needed repairs before winter sets in and help you winterize your roof. Chinook Roofing & Gutters has a SEAL Repair and Maintenance Program for guarding against leaks The SEAL Program means you’ll work with trained technicians, see photos of completed repairs, and receive e-mail service reminders so you can stay on top of your roof maintenance. To find out all your options for repair or replacement, start with a free estimate of your current roof and ventilation, and we’ll get back to you quickly, before the weather damages your home.



Chinook Roofing & Gutters is a full service roofing company with expert cross-trained installers for both commercial-industrial and residential roofing projects. We provide Tacoma roof repairand installation as well as Tacoma gutter installation with a service area that extends throughout the Puget Sound region, including our home base of Fife, as well as Gig Harbor, Puyallup, Milton and more. Contact us today for a free estimate.

(Photo by Suat Eman via

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The only thing better than our new roof is the company who installed it. Kind and capable people from the inspection and estimate to impeccable clean up. Thank you so much!