what does freeze thaw mean

What Does Freeze Thaw Mean?

In our beloved state of Colorado is known to experience turbulent weather conditions. From facing heavy snow, ice, and low temperatures, it’s no surprise that the weather changes can cause havoc in areas of our lives.

The effects of such weather conditions can subsequently lead to freeze thawing. When we consider the science behind freeze thawing, we begin to see that it is a process that can potentially be destructive to just about anything. In this case, roofs.

But what does freeze thaw mean? This post will give you insight into what freeze thawing is and how you can prevent it from damaging your home and roof.

There are certain things you can do to winterize your roof, but knowing more about what freeze thaw means and what that means for your roof will give you an understanding of how to best prepare.

melted ice on roof


Freeze Thaw Weathering

Freeze thawing is characterized as a process of erosion that occurs when water enters cracks and crevices and expands as a result of low temperatures, this results in a build-up of pressure which is then released when temperatures increase.

The air consists of water and moisture.

A reduction in temperature causes water molecules to expand. Hence, when we consider the accumulation of rain, ice, and snow on roofs, we begin to see the signs of water expansion through roofing damage. The expansion of the water molecules causes a build-up of pressure. Roofing materials are not designed to be flexible and malleable, hence when water seeps beneath these materials and expands, it consequently causes damage such as cracks. A fluctuation in weather conditions with temperatures reaching freezing levels can have catastrophic effects as the freeze thaw cycle begins to add substantial stress on the roof’s shingles as it expands and contracts along with the weather.

The effects of the freeze thaw cycle on roofing can result in:

  • Seam damage
  • Ice dam damage to guttering
  • Condensation and mildew within the home
  • Flashing leaks

freeze thaw on roof


Freeze Thaw Damage

The roof of a building is designed to be a barrier that essentially protects the building from the elements. Hence, maintaining your roof is critical to ensuring that it performs in the way it is supposed to.

However, drastic weather conditions and unexpected turbulent storms can be the demise of a well-constructed roof. Despite having a sturdy roof, significant exposure to hard weather, ice, and water can cause severe roof damage with potentially long-lasting effects.

The residue water left from freeze thawing can be highly damaging as it results in water seeping under roof shingles and entering attic space. If this is not dealt with efficiently, it can lead to additional problems such as causing damp and leaks through ceilings, walls, and insulation. The presence of continuous stress applied to roofing can also result in a significant reduction in the roof’s lifespan as the cycle of contracting and expanding may bring it to a breaking point.

In addition to these damages, if your roof is made from natural material such as stone or concrete, the process of freeze thawing causes the materials to erode as a result of excessive water exposure. Consequently, this effect can become a catalyst for further damages such as water entering the home causing mold and mildew as a result of bacteria-ridden water molecules thriving in a warm environment.


How to Prevent Freeze Thaw Damage

Are you wondering if an ice and water shield is necessary?

The answer is we recommend it.

It’s critical that even if you’re not in a position where you want to completely replace your roof, you at least put the relevant precautions in place to ensure that your roof does its job effectively as it provides an additional layer of protection from weather damage. These types of shields are great for not only offering significant protection but also providing peace of mind in knowing that you don’t have to worry about the change in seasons.

An ice and water shield is a protective waterproof membrane that works to protect the roof from damage from ice dams, snow, and rainwater. It works to provide a form of protection that makes the building weather-resistant. Learn more about the benefits of an ice and water shield.

Besides implementing additional roofing protection, there are additional steps you can take to avoid winter roof problems. One of the most significant steps to take is to analyze your roof early on to ensure that any existing problems can be dealt with in advance before winter sets in. Find out more on winterizing your roof effectively.

winter roofing


How B&M Roofing Can Help With Freeze Thaw

If you’ve started to notice any of the signs of the effects of freeze thawing, it’s not too late to get your roof back into shape.

The best thing you can do is to ensure that your roof is regularly maintained and to hire a professional to put the necessary weather protection in place. At B&M Roofing, we pride ourselves on providing leading roofing solutions and services. We offer services that ensure maximum protection for both commercial and residential roofing. Our top services for weather protection from freeze-thawing include water and ice barrier installation and roof repairs and maintenance. Our services exist to give you maximum protection and peace of mind. We consist of a reliable team of roofing experts who are exceptionally skilled in a variety of roof types.

If you’re concerned about the current state of your roof as a result of weathering and snow and you’re considering a roof replacement, find out more about what type of roof is best for snow. 

Between wear and tear, natural degradation, and weathering, our roofs are built to withstand extreme pressure. However, there is only so much that can be taken. In order to protect our buildings, it’s essential that we work to maintain the quality of roofs to maintain their lifespan. Doing this requires taking the necessary steps to ensure that the correct repairs are done and that the necessary precautions or protective measures are put in place to prevent long-term damage.

There’s no doubt that the process of freeze-thawing can be devastating.

However, with services such as those provided by B&M roofing, there are solutions to tackling and preventing the effects of freeze-thawing.