Snow, Sleet, and Structural Integrity – How Cold Weather Affects Your Roof

Snow, Sleet, and Structural Integrity – How Cold Weather Affects Your Roof

To some, wintertime means hot chocolate, roaring fires, and holiday feasts. To your industrial roof, however, the winter can mean leaks, gusts, buckling, and even the occasional collapse.

For all the thought and technology that goes into heat and UV protection for industrial roofs, the opposite environmental conditions can be equally as damaging. If your roof is older, considerably rusted, or poorly insulated, winter weather could cost you and your business big time. 

Fairer fall weather may be your last chance to repair your commercial roof before the oncoming winter. If you’ve got a commercial roof in need, it’s worth considering these most common winter-related damages.


Whether from melted snow, winter rains, or sleet, water finds its way onto our roofs. During other seasonal conditions, the water may quickly evaporate or otherwise drain through clear channels. But in winter, water tends to stick around.

Water expands when frozen, and if part of your roof absorbs or captures liquid water before it refreezes, you could be in for some serious cracking. Unfortunately, cracks are only the start of another problem.


Where there are cracks there are leaks. Cycling through colder and warmer winter days, water on your roof may melt, freeze, and melt again. 

A series of minor cracks and leaks could turn into something even more serious at winter’s end. Moistened materials may sprout mold and enduring leaks could cause work stoppages, electrical shorting, or further rust.

Expensive Bills

Like water, the cold can easily find its way through an older roof. Even existing insulation in decent condition can be further compromised by cracking and leaking.

HVAC bills can rise drastically in a large space. If you normally count on your roof’s tight insulation to keep your workforce comfortable, a compromised roof could mean more than a few chilly days at the office. Worker comfort usually translates to worker safety, and the uncomfortable environment could have a domino effect of unforeseen circumstances–none of them ideal.

Storm Damage

Even in the milder parts of the country, the occasional winter storm pops up.

Older roofs are especially susceptible to wind damage. Portions of your roof can be lifted or blown away entirely, further contributing to the likelihood of damage from leaks, cracks, and compromised insulation. 

Nearby or overhanging vegetation (namely trees) can also break or fall onto a roof. While this is likely to cause damage despite the age of your roof, older roofs could fail catastrophically.

Meanwhile, heavy snow can add to the overall weight of your roofing system. Wet snow can even weigh as much as 21lbs per square foot. To an older or rusted structure, that’s considerably more weight than it was designed to manage. Partial collapses have been known to occur in older roofs under loads of snow.

Repair your Roof Today!

Weathercoat is here for all your winter roofing needs. Unlike some other traditional roofing materials, Weathercoat specializes in elastomeric coating–an affordable and durable spray-on coating that can even be applied to rust.

Elastomeric coating works as well in winter as it does in high summer and is lighter overall than most other roofing options, limiting the possibility of damage from additional snow weight.

Why shiver and sniffle this winter season when you could just get on with working efficiently and comfortably?

Learn more about pre-winter roofing restorations today!

Fall rolls quickly into winter, and if you put off that industrial roofing repair too long, the chance may pass you by. Winter always has a few surprises up its sleeves, so don’t count on a mild season to save your older roof. For peace of mind and guaranteed winter comfort, visit today!