Many people think of roof damage occurring during the spring when storms are at their worst, but there are also very serious threats that occur to your roof in the winter. Understanding what the threats are and how to avoid them is important to the longevity of the protection of your home.
The Weight of Snow
While snow might look light and pretty when it is falling from the sky, it becomes a heavy mess when it hits your roof. The type of snow that falls will play a factor in the damage that occurs – the wetter the snow the larger the weight. In general, one foot of wet snow can weigh 20 pounds. That’s just one foot – imagine when we get more snow, the weight is tremendous. It is easy to see how roofs can collapse or suffer from severe damage as a result. While you might not get the signs you get in the spring of leaking water or missing shingles, you should still watch for damage as it could occur all at once.
On sunny days, the sun can melt some of the snow that is present on your roof. At night, when the sun goes in and the temperatures drop again, the water that is left will freeze again. As the ice builds up it eventually backs up in the gutters and eaves. This eventually causes damage to the roof including damaged or missing shingles and collapsed or busting at the seams gutters from the weight of the ice.
Preventing Roof Damage
Unfortunately, it is not 100 percent possible to prevent damage from snow or ice. The following tips might help:
- Ensure that your attic is insulated
- Make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the attic, near the eaves
- Make use of a snow melt system
All of these choices are less dangerous that trying to fix problems as they occur during the winter. Climbing up a ladder and onto the roof during snow and ice storms could prove to be very dangerous, causing very serious injury to homeowners. If you are worried about roof damage, you can always contact your roof professionals to inspect and provide you with their advice about how to rectify the situation.