Dealing With Snow on the Roof


Experiencing a heavy snowstorm or living in a cold area that produces lots of snow can create a dangerous snow load on roof. Left alone, these massive conglomerates of snow will build up, damaging the structures holding up the roof or causing it to cave in entirely. If you don’t want your home to look like the Metrodome, consider the following tips.

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Preparing a Roof for Winter

For both commercial and residential buildings, it’s a good idea to schedule a roof inspection every couple of years to see if any major repairs are needed. Keep the surface of the roof and all gutters free of debris. Tree branches can potentially fall off or dump snow onto a roof under intense pressure, so note where surrounding trees are and make sure they are properly trimmed. Even houses in areas with little snowfall can be susceptible to a blizzard.

Knowing When Enough Is Enough

Approximate how much snow has accumulated on a rooftop, and adjust this number after every snowfall. Ten inches of fresh snow will weigh about five pounds per square foot, but only a few inches of packed snow may be all it takes for a roof to cave in. Once buildup has reached concerning numbers, contact professional snow removal services to remove excessive snow. Snow removal is too dangerous at rooftop levels for amateurs to attempt.

Signs of a Strained Roof

If help is not contacted in time, the roof may begin to bend and overextend, the prelude to breakage. If you encounter any of the following symptoms, immediately contact a structural engineer to assess your options: cracked doors or ceiling, cracking or creaking noises, jammed doors or a leaking roof.

Protecting your house is an investment every homeowner prioritizes. However, protecting your roof from snow damage through proper precautions and quick action can provide immediate protection from catastrophe.

Written by Anindita Ghosh