How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof
Updated: Mar 1
With winter quickly approaching, it is important to understand the different impacts that snow and ice may have on your roof. By taking certain precautions, you can reduce the probability of needing costly repairs. Here are a few key terms to remember:
Winter Weight: Winter weight is a term that refers to snow and ice accumulation on your roof which can cause excess stress from the added weight. Because of the added weight, the roof can begin to cave in or damage certain structures underneath. As this happens, any rainwater or melted snow can flow to the lowest point of your roof and freeze up, causing massive ice blocks. Ice blocks and excessive snow on your roof can lead to expensive repairs.
Water Damage: Water damage is a huge concern to homeowners all throughout the year, but especially causes more issues in the winter. As snow and ice on your roof begin to melt, your home can be prone to unexpected leaks which can lead to unexpected repairs. Older homes are prone to corrosion, which over time can weaken their structural integrity.
Insulation Issues: Although a thin layer of snow can act as a blanket for extra warmth in the winter, excess snow can turn into ice dams leaving room for water to enter your home. As water leaks through your roof and into your attic, any insulation can easily become damaged and/or unusable. Once insulation becomes wet, it begins to clump together which results in the inability to retain heat inside your home.
Different Roofs, Different Problems: Shingle peaked roofs are a bit easier to maintain in the Winter as gravity naturally pulls snow and ice off. Flat roofs, on the other hand, are more vulnerable to severe water damage as snow becomes trapped as it cannot simply slide off the sides, causing excessive weight added. Many homes in Hudson County have flat roofs, which is important to note when looking into new properties.
How To Clear Snow Off Of Your Roof: Most modern roofs today have the ability to withstand excessive weight, so clearing snow off of your roof may not be a total concern, yet older homes may need some extra attention. It is generally recommended that snow should be shoveled off the roof before it reaches a depth of 2’, but this may depend on varying factors such as the age of the roof, the type of roof, etc. To remove snow from your roof, there are a few different options; many hardware stores sell a tool called a Snow Rake, which is used to remove snow on a pitched roof without needing a ladder. When using this tool, it is important to only remove a few inches of snow to avoid damaging shingles or other roofing materials. Another way to remove snow from your roof, which we do not personally recommend unless you have been and are comfortable walking on a roof, is to use a ladder and physically shovel the snow off of your roof. This option works well too, but we advise you to take extreme caution when doing so. Lastly, if you feel more comfortable, there are many professional snow removal companies that you can hire to assess the situation. In most cases, this would be the ideal option when clearing snow off of flat roofs or hard to get to spots.
It is always important to remember your own limits when it comes to certain actions of performing your own roof cleaning; some actions can be dangerous or cause further damage to your roof. In most cases, you will not need to remove snow from your roof in the event of a light snowfall as it will naturally start to melt from the interior heat of your home. In the event of heavy snowfall, usually more than 6 inches, it is recommended to clear the snow from the roof.
For more information or tips about snow removal from your roof, be sure to contact us at (201)436-1011, or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org today!