4 Weather Elements in Great Falls, VA That Hurt Your Roof

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Virginia is a state that can proudly boast four full seasons with different weather patterns ranging from hot summer days to a snowy winter. And in Great Falls, we get to experience the joy of watching the seasons change right from the Potomac river!

The only drawback? Great Falls, VA weather can take quite a toll on your roof.

In fact, in April of 2019, a full-blown tornado swept through Fairfax County and the surrounding areas, knocking down trees and powerlines, costing homeowners thousands of dollars!

Fortunately, extreme weather patterns aren’t a constant cause for concern. However, even the average Great Falls, VA weather can affect your roof. Read on to find out how and learn to recognize the signs early so that you can have your roof fixed before it’s a major problem.

1. Heat and Humidity

The average temperature between May and September may be a mild 78 degrees in Great Falls, VA, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t see several 90-degree days in July and August. On top of that, Great Falls experiences humidity levels well above 80% in the spring and even winter seasons.

Heat can cause your roofing, especially wooden rafters and beams, to expand or swell. Over time, they may begin to crack and this warping may loosen your shingles.

While your roof takes a beating from direct sunlight, it is also getting damaged from the heat trapped inside your upper floors and attack. Rising heat creates pressure that can cause your shingle nails to pop right out or cause the shingles, themselves, to curl along the edges.

The moisture created by humidity can also cause wooden roofing components to swell. This moisture may also seep into any cracked or loosened areas, leading to mold growth and rot.

2. Freezing Temperatures and Snow

In the winter months, the low temperatures in Great Falls, VA often fall well below freezing. The area receives an average of 19.25 inches of snow and this doesn’t include freezing rain. 

Freezing temperatures make roofing materials such as shingles more brittle and prone to breakage. Combine this with the high-impact wind, sleet, and freezing rain that we tend to see in this part of Virginia and you may find yourself with some broken or missing shingles. 

In great quantities, snow can become very heavy on your rooftop, especially if part or all of it is flat. Unfortunately, all of this weight can cause a collapse, especially if your roof is old or damaged already. 

Even without several inches, snow can put pressure on your roof and gutters. Ice dams can form when certain parts of your roof are warmer than others from your internal heating. The snow melts and freezes into slick layers of ice or icicles that pull on your shingles or gutters and threaten to break them.

3. Rain

Great Falls, VA gets an average of over 40 inches of rainfall per year. If your roof has any exposed areas where shingles have cracked, broken, or fallen off, you’re at risk of leaks that will cause damage to the interior of your home, no matter how light the rainfall is.

During heavy rainfall, flat or sagging areas of your roof are at risk of pooling. As with snow, pooling can create a great deal of weight on your roof that can lead to collapse. It can also cause significant water damage that may lead to a buildup of rot and mold.

4. Leaves, Pollen, and Other Natural Debris

In Virginia, we love to see the leaves turn and fall in autumn and delight in the return of greenery in the spring. However, when all of this natural debris is floating around in the air, you’re at risk of a clogged gutter. 

Clogged gutters may seem like an isolated issue, but they can actually wreak havoc on your roof if they aren’t taken care of quickly. 

When water from rainfall and snowmelt don’t have a direct path away from the roof, water will begin to pool around the edges. This can lead to rot and mold. It also gives all of that extra water a greater opportunity to creep underneath your shingles and create leaks in your home. 

Plus, clogged gutters invite all sorts of critters that you don’t want getting comfortable up on your roof. For example, wasps, hornets, and bees love to nest in clogged gutters. Not only is this dangerous for the people who live in your home but a big nest can cause minor structural damage to your gutter and the edge of your roof.

How to Stay on Top of Roof Maintenance In Spite of Great Falls, VA Weather

The best way to avoid major damage that accumulates throughout the year is to keep track of how your roof is doing throughout each season. If you notice some minor areas of damage, call in a professional immediately. The longer you wait, the worse it’s going to get and the bigger your bill will be!

A word to the wise: be careful with DIY treatment. For example, don’t use a snow shovel to scrape away at the snow that has piled up on your roof. If you’re not careful, you may be applying upward pressure on your downward-facing shingles, knocking them loose or cracking the edges.

Additionally, be careful with chemical treatments designed to melt snow and ice. The salt we use on our sidewalks and roads contain chemicals that can eat away at your shingles.

Where to Find Roofing Experts in Northern VA

If you’re looking for an expert to protect your roof from Great Falls, VA weather or repair any damage your roof has accrued, look no further!

At DMV Roofing Pros we’re, well, pros! Give us a call or send us a message using our contact sheet and we’ll provide a free same-day quote and get to work right away!