The Impact of Freezing Rain on Your Roof

With winter around the corner, you may be concerned about whether the roof of your Atlanta home will withstand the impacts of freezing rain. The most common types of roofs in Atlanta are shingle, tile, and metal roofs. That’s why we decided to focus on these types of roofs to discuss the impacts of the freezing rain and some measures you could take to protect your roof from damage.

What Is Freezing Rain?

Freezing rain happens when a warm front moves over a cold area and raindrops freeze upon contact with surfaces, creating a glaze of ice. Freezing rain is particularly troublesome for roofs because it can cause ice dams that compromise the integrity of the roofing system over time.

How Does Freezing Rain Affect Shingle Roofs?

When droplets of freezing rain fall on aged shingles, they can flow into the small gaps between them. As the temperature continues to cool, the water will freeze. As the ice expands, it will push against the shingles, causing them to break or crack.

How Does Freezing Rain Affect Tile Roofs?

Roof tiles are attached to the roof sheathing board with roofing clay. Clay prevents tile temperatures from dropping below zero. If clay gets wet due to rain, it could cause the formation of ice, which is detrimental to the tiles as it can cause flaking, cracks, and delamination.

How Does Freezing Rain Affect Metal Roofs?

Metal roofs are recognized as the most resistant to cold weather. Perhaps the only problem associated with them is ice dams, which are also a threat to shingle and tile roofs.

Are Ice Dams a Common Problem?

As the freezing rain collects in roof gutters, it forms ice. As the rain continues to fall, layers of ice pile on top of each other, creating an ice dam.

When it comes to roofs, the danger is that the water can pool behind the ice and backflow under the shingles, metal roofing, or tiles, causing leakage. If this occurs, the sheathing, the roof structure, the ceiling, and the walls below are all compromised.

How Do You Get Ready for the Freezing Rain?

Ice dams occur because of the contrasting temperatures between the roof’s edges and the rest of the roof. The causes may be as follows.

  • Insufficient insulation lets the heat from the attic flow to the roof sheathing, causing the snow on the roof to keep melting for hours and then freeze when temperatures drop.
  • If the air keeps leaking into the space below the roof membrane, it becomes a significant source of heat and moisture and causes both condensation and snow melting that contribute to ice dam formation.
  • There may be a source of heat in the roof, such as hot-water piping.


The best course of action is to
get a roof inspection before the freezing rain comes. A roofing expert can identify any problems and give you a valuable recommendation on how to proceed. If you have a shingle roof, you may want to consider an innovative Roof Maxx treatment that rejuvenates and significantly extends the lifespan of shingle roofs.

Remove & Replace Roofing, LLC is a reliable roofing contractor in Atlanta, GA. Schedule an appointment and get a free estimate today. Call us at (404) 963-7196.