Category Archives: winter tips

Ice Dams on Old House

How To Prevent Ice Dams From Forming

As any homeowner who has lived in New England for a few winters knows, ice dams are one of the most irritating issues to deal with on your home. If you’re interested in learning how you can prevent ice dams from forming, take a look at our blog for more information!

Ventilate Your Attic Properly

One of the easiest ways to prevent your roof from getting ice dams is to properly ventilate your attic and ensure that it is a similar temperature to the outdoors. Ice dams are formed when the heat from your attic and home melts the snow on your roof, so if you improve the ventilation in your attic, you can cool the space down and stop the snow from melting, preventing ice dams before they have a chance to be created.

Insulate Your Home

Another way to reduce the heat in your attic is to ensure that your home is properly insulated. While you can improve the ventilation in your attic to reduce the heat coming from your roof, sometimes it is a better choice to focus on improving your home’s insulation. One reason your home’s roof may be warm enough to melt snow is that your home isn’t properly insulated which is allowing heat to escape out through the top of your ceiling and into your attic, where it melts the snow on your roof. If you’re trying to reduce the ice dams on your home, try improving the insulation in your home!

Ensure Your Attic Doesn’t Have Any Heat Sources

If you’ve improved your attic ventilation and improved the insulation in your home and you’re still finding that your home is accumulating large ice dams, it is possible that there is a source of heat coming from your attic.

One of the most common sources of heat in your attic is if you have any older recessed lighting installed in the ceiling below your attic. These lights can radiate a large amount of heat up into your attic. Other potential sources of heat include HVAC ducts, dryer vents, or kitchen & bathroom exhaust vents. If you find that after improving your attic ventilation and insulation that your home is still experiencing ice dams, check your attic for unexpected heat sources.

Contact Us Today

If you need to replace or repair your roof this winter, our team at Rhode Island Slate Roofing is ready to assist! Reach out to our team today by calling us at (401) 255-2003 or by filling out our team’s online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your home improvement needs!

Fall Old Roof Leaves

Importance of Cleaning Your Gutters

With fall right around the corner, and winter fast approaching behind it, it is important to keep up with your home maintenance in order to keep your home protected through the chilly months. One of the most important things you can do to help protect your home is to keep your gutter system clean. However, many homeowners still don’t understand how important it truly is to keep your gutter system clean. If you’re still not sure why you need to clean your gutter system, keeping reading below to learn more!

Roof Damage

One of the primary reasons that you need to keep your gutter system clean is to protect your roof. If you have so much debris in your gutters that water begins to back up onto your roof, it can seep under your shingles and cause rot damage on your roof deck.


Another reason you’ll want to keep your gutter system clear is to keep out any critters or insects from making a home in the debris. The last thing you want to deal with when cleaning your gutter system is a family of squirrels or a bird’s nest. Make sure animals don’t take up residence in your home’s gutter system by keeping it clean of debris!

Fascia Board Damage

A lesser-known part of your roof system, your fascia boards, can become damaged when water overflows from your gutter system and runs over the back of the system. Keep your fascia boards protected by keeping your gutter system free of debris.

Keep Your Garden Protected

If your gutter system is overflowing, that water has to drain somewhere, and more often than not, that is directly onto your flower beds. Make sure you aren’t overwatering your plants by making sure that your gutter system is draining the way it’s supposed to.

Protect Your Foundation

Just as overflowing water can damage your flower beds, it can also damage your home’s foundation. Overflowing water can cause cracks in your foundation as it seeps down, which can quickly lead to extremely expensive repairs! Make sure your home is properly protected by keeping your gutter system free of debris!

Contact Us Today

Are you in need of a roof replacement before the winter? Our team at Rhode Island Slate Roofing is ready to assist! Reach out to our team today by calling us at (401) 255-2003 or by filling out our team’s online contact form! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your roofing needs!

Checklist For Winterizing Your Roof

Any homeowner who lives in a region of the country that experiences cold winter weather knows that winterizing the exterior of a house is extremely important. If you fail to take certain steps during the late summer or autumn months, you could find yourself facing a world of trouble in the springtime. It’s much easier to winterize properly than to deal with damage after it has already been done!

This guide will specifically teach you how to get your roof ready for wintertime. Taking a few minutes to learn what you can do to protect this important part of your home during the coldest months of the year is a responsible choice that will pay off in the end. Hopefully, you will learn something new as you read, but even if you already know all of these tips, a refresher course is always useful!

Winterization Tip #1: Start the process early.

The earlier you begin getting the outside of your home ready for winter, the easier it will be to complete all the tasks you want to. Sometimes, especially if the first freeze comes early, projects you intended to finish don’t get done, to the detriment of your home. If you begin getting ready for winter in mid-September in most areas of the country, you should be in good shape. If you live a particularly northerly region, you might want to begin winterizing even earlier.

Winterization Tip #2: Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear.

Your gutter system must be in good working order to prevent your roof from sustaining damage during the wintertime. If leaves, twigs, or any other debris are blocking the flow of water, melting ice and snow will just sit on your roof, ultimately causing potentially serious damage. The best option is to have a professional clean your gutters well at the end of fall, after the last leaves have fallen.

Winterization Tip #3: Trim all trees near your house.

During the winter, tree branches become even heavier than usual due to mounting ice and snow. This can present a major problem if any branches protrude over your roof. Whether they actually fall off onto your roof or simply lay there for months, damage can occur. Make sure all overhanging tree branches are professionally trimmed prior to the first frost.

Keep Your Roof Clear This Winter with Help from Rhode Island Slate Roofing!

These are not difficult tasks and, if you neglect them, you could face lasting damage to your roof that insurance may not cover. Instead of risking that, hire a qualified professional like those found at Rhode Island Slate Roofing to inspect your home’s roof and perform these winterization projects. You will be glad you did! For more information about us and our available services, contact us today!

Common Winter Roofing Issues

When the cold weather arrives, it brings a whole new set of home maintenance complications.  Your roof is particularly susceptible because it can quickly accumulate piles of snow and ice.  These have the potential to cause damage if left unattended. Below we’ll discuss some of the most common roofing issues and why you need to address them:

Ice Dams

Ice dams form when heat escapes through your roof, slowly thawing the snow that was sitting at the top of your roof, which then rolls down the roof and re-freezes when it reaches the roof’s edge where the temperature is lower.  This process carries on all winter until eventually, a large barrier of ice has formed which the melted snow further up the roof where it stays liquid because the heat from the roof keeps it melted.  Having water sitting on your roof in this manner can cause significant damage, particularly if your roof doesn’t have an ice and water barrier installed far enough up the roof deck. If you notice ice dams forming on your roof, be sure to address them as soon as possible before they cause water damage to your roof, attic, and ceiling.


While knocking them down is a favorite winter pastime for kids, icicles can be dangerous and cause damage to your roof, as well as people and pets.  To protect yourself and your roof, ensure to safely break down any icicles that form and be sure to clean out your gutters to discourage icicles from being able to form.


While the biggest danger from a Nor’easter is certainly all the snow it brings, the high winds that pair with it can also cause damage to your roof.  If your roof edges were not properly installed, or the starter shingles lost their adhesive, a strong gust of wind could easily begin to dismantle your roof.  A strong roof starts with the edges, so it is important to ensure that the edges of your roof are properly installed to mitigate any major damage from those pesky Nor’easters.

Call Today

If you are looking for Maintenance & repair work, or you’re in need of a new roof entirely, be sure to reach out to Rhode Island slate roofing! Contact us today for more information about us and our available services!

How To Tell Your Roof is Damaged After an Ice Storm?

Every few winters in New England it seems there is a wild ice storm. Most notably in recent memory he had the ice storm of 2008. The damage was in the 2 to 2.5 billions of dollars range in New England and homes lost power for days to weeks in certain areas. A lot of the damage was to personal property. Homeowners themselves experienced devastation, especially around their roofs. We know ice storms and ice build up causes ice dams and other damage. But how should you inspect your roof after an ice storm specially? Lets look at a few steps to see if you need to call an experienced roofing contractor.

Be Careful

First and foremost, if you are going to be inspecting your roof without the help of a roofing contractor, be extremely careful. Obviously, ice is slippery. The ground surface could also be trick as well depending on how much snow and ice is built up. Try to clear the area where your ladder is going to be as much as possible. Have a spotter to hold your ladder as well.


Inspect The Metal

The metal on your roof is known as the flashing, vents, or exhaust caps. Depending on the size of the ice in the storm, the flashing could be severely damaged. You want your flashing to be “flush” with the roof to prevent leaking. If your flashing is banged up a bunch, leaving an uneven surface, this is warning sign number 1 your roof needs some repair work. Additionally, while you are up there, look at any HVAC components that may be attached to your roof.  You may need to call 2 contractors depending on the severity of damage.

Shingle Inspections & Bruises

Shingle bruises are a sign of ice damage. These bruises can create cracks that will allow water to seep in your roof and attic.  Any easy way to spot this is displaced shingles. If the storm wasn’t as severe, take a close look at many shingles. See cracks in them? Sign number 2 your need a roof repair.


Lastly, if you have any sky windows in your house, you’ll need to carefully inspect these too. Check for broken panes, vinyl trim, or window glazing. If you see any cracks or warping, you’ll want to get this taken care of ASAP. This is an especially vulnerable area that could lead to a puddle in your living room!

Remember, Rhode Island Slate Roofing are the experts at everything roofing. Serving Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts.


Rhode Island Winter Roofing Services

Even though it seems like summer is lingering around this Fall, with temperatures in the mid 80’s recently, we in New England know that Winter temperatures are right around the corner. With winter temperatures, come winter conditions, and snow storms will be here before we know it. In recent memory, the winters of 2014 and 2009 proved to be some of the worst in the last few decades in New England. From a two week ice storm, to historic levels of snow, New England homes felt the consequences. Hundreds of roofing issues were reported in these winters. From collapsed roofs to leaks the damage cost homeowners thousands.

Rhode Island Ice Dam Removal

Ice dams are ridges of ice that form at the edge of a roof and prevent melting snow from draining off the roof. Ice dams can create havoc on a home. The ice will slowly melt, eventually leading to leakage in the roof. If the leaking is not taken care of right away,  the potential of a roof collapse increases. Damage can also be had on your walls, ceilings, insulation and other areas of the homes structure. Rhode Island Slate Roofing provides Rhode Island and Massachusetts residents and business owners with Ice Dam Removal services to make sure you can avoid a devastating situation.

Roof Snow Shoveling

Just like ice dams, snow build up on your home can lead to some serious repair or replacement bills for homeowners. Depending on the slope and style of your roof, there is only so much weight-age it can hold safely. Additionally, the build of snow can lead to ice dams as well. Don’t end up like the multiple people every year who injure themselves trying to remove snow from their homes their selves.  Contact the insured professionals at Rhode Island Slate Roofing.

Enjoy the last few weeks of warm weather New England. And as Winter comes, contact us for all your snow and ice dam removal projects.


More Tips for Maintaining Your Roof

Gutters and Roof Maintenance

With the latest Nor’Easter dropping snow on overworked roofs all across Rhode Island and the rest of New England this winter, it is important to understand that a little maintenance on your roof and gutters can save you big headaches in the long run. Spring is almost here, but until the snow finally melts, Rhode Island Slate Roofing is here to offer a few post-snow maintenance tips to make sure your roof makes it through to spring in the best possible shape.

Clean Gutters and Remove Ice Dams

One of the toughest parts about owning a home is making sure the gutters are cleared in between snowfalls. To avoid any potentially dangerous injury from falling, it is best to hire a professional roofing contractor who has the special tools and experience to do the work, like the ones at Rhode Island Slate Roofing. If you let the leaves and debris build up in your gutters, the clog will start to freeze and become even harder to remove later on. Even worse, it is only a matter of time before the roof starts leaking from the hydrostatic pressure caused by water building up on your roof, leading to repair costs that easily could have been avoided. But even houses with clean gutters need to watch out for ice dams if temperatures fall back below freezing. Check out our explanation of ice dams if you need help recognizing or removing ice dams from your property.

Keep Your Trees Well-Trimmed

Dead branches near your home, especially large, heavy dead branches from older trees, must be removed if you want to avoid the risk of damage to your roof and the physical structure of your home. All it could take is one heavy instance of snow, hail, or icy rain to cause them to fall and damage your home or vehicle.

Inspect Your Roof Regularly and Hire a Professional If Necessary

Start by examining your roof by walking around the outside of your home and check for any sagging, snow buildup, or structural issues. Give us a call if you notice any potential issues, or if it has been a long time since the last time you have performed maintenance on your roof. A simple phone call to the professionals here at Rhode Island Slate Roofing to inspect your roof for potential issues could save you thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.

Rhode Island Slate Roofing’s Ice Dam Removal Service

Rhode Island’s relatively mild winter ended with the blizzards of the past few weeks. As such, one important service that Rhode Island Slate Roofing can provide to your home is ice dam removal. In freezing conditions with heavy snow like those we are currently experiencing in Rhode Island, your home may be vulnerable to ice dams. What is an ice dam and why should you care? Well, an ice dam is exactly what it sounds like — a frozen bit of ice that blocks water from properly draining through your gutter system, and it is something you should be aware of because it can cause thousands of dollars in water damage and even health risks from mold and mildew growth, when all the snow that had piled up on your roof melts and leaks through your roof and into your home instead of draining through your gutter system.

Ice dams are caused by the warm air inside your home melting the snow that piles up on the roof of your home. The melted snow flows until it reaches the edge of your roof and the gutter system, where it has become far enough from the warm air in your home to refreeze and form blocks of ice that interfere with proper drainage. If left unattended, hydrostatic pressure from the combination of the weight of the remaining unmelted snow above, and the ice blockage below forces water through the shingles of your roof, causing leaks and massive inconvenience to you, the homeowner.

The process of removing ice dams is fairly straightforward — simply get rid of the ice and get rid of the snow — but without specialized tools and roofing experience you could put yourself at risk of a serious injury if you were to fall from an inadequate ladder or using inferior tools to melt the ice. So consider Rhode Island Slate Roofing for our ice dam removal service. We can rid you of any potential ice dam issues with our quick and efficient service, and can save you potentially thousands of dollars in damage and saved headaches in the long run.

Rooftop Snow Removal Dos & Don’ts

With snow storms coming right around the corner, the entire Rhode Island & New England community has to be conscious of the impact snow can have on your roof. Most roofs are designed to handle high levels of snow, but there’s always a possibility of structural damage. When snow starts to build up, it gets heavy and can have a major impact. We have seen that large & flat roofs are at a greater risk of this damage as well.

More often then not it’s safest to hire a professional but here are some Do & Don’t guidelines if you are to rid the snow yourself.


  • Purchase a snow rake if you have a pitched roof to remove snow off your roof.
  • With your snow rake, always work from the sides & edge into the roof.
  • If possible, it may be smartest to shave the snow on your roof down to 2-3 inches instead of removing everything. This will help reduce the damage to your shingles or other roof covering.
  • If you are using any metal tools realize that it could conduce electricity if you make contact with a power line and a metal tool will also do more damage to a roof.
  • If you are removing snow from a flat roof, be sure to shovel the snow over the side and away from the building
  • During the entire process, keep your gutters, drains & downspouts free of any ice and snow.


  • Unless approved by a professional, avoid adding your weight or the weight of equipment onto the roof.
  • Don’t use ladder since ice can build up on the steps of the ladder and on the bottom of your shoes.
  • Don’t use open flame devices or electrical heating devices to remove snow and ice from your roof.

Snow roof removal is a serious and dangerous matter. The structural integrity of your home matters but unless you have experience and know what you’re doing, it can be quite dangerous. Rhode Island Slate Roofing has been working with businesses and families across Rhode Island clearing snow for them. If the time comes and you are hit with a big storm look no further then us.

For more information, please feel free to give us a call at 401-225-2003 or fill out an online contact form.