While a snowfall brings a feeling of serenity for many, the harsh winter weather can be problematic for your roof. As your roof protects you and your family from the snow and ice, it takes a beating during the frigid months. Snow and ice can directly affect the structure and condition of your roof. In order to protect the integrity of your roof, it’s important to fully understand the impact that ice and snow can have, how to recognize signs of damage, and how to prevent damage.
The Impact of Snow and Ice
Prolonged ice and snow exposure can lead to an array of problems for your roof. The impact varies, and the damage may range from minor damage to a major structural failure. There are three primary ways that snow and ice may wreak havoc on your roof.
1. Structural stress is one of the most common impacts of snow and ice. If snow and ice accumulate for extended periods, the heavy weight can weaken the structure over time. In cases of heavy snowfall, it is even possible for the stress to cause the roof to collapse. While a total structural collapse is not common in homes that are built to code, it is possible
2. Ice dams are formed when melting snow and ice move down the roof and freeze at the edge. These ice dams can cause significant damage to the gutter and can even tear off the flashing from the roof.
3. Cracks and leaks can occur from the freezing and thawing of ice and snow throughout the season. When ice or snow melts, it will seep into even the smallest of cracks. When this water re-freezes, the cracks grow bigger and can cause leaks once the ice thaws again.
How to Remove Ice and Snow
Ice and snow are inevitable during the winter months. However, learning to safely remove snow and ice will lessen the chances of potential damage.
If you have significant snow lingering on your roof, it is a good idea to remove it. The easiest and safest way to rid your roof of the snow is by hiring a snow removal professional. However, if you prefer to do the job yourself, you can purchase a roof rake designed for snow removal for about $60. These rakes typically come with extendable poles to keep you off the icy roof. They can be used from the ground or on a ladder, depending on the height of your roof. In order to prevent damage, be sure to move down the roofline when using a roof rake.
Just like with snow, it’s a good idea to remove any lingering ice or ice dams that may occur. The safest and easiest way to de-ice your roof, without a professional’s assistance, is by using ice-melting products. Typically, your nearest hardware store will carry products that contain ammonium sulfate or calcium magnesium acetate, which are highly effective for melting ice. You want to safely utilize a ladder and distribute the product onto icy areas.
Signs of Damage
If damage to your roof is inevitable, you want to make sure that you catch it as early as possible. Fortunately, there are several warning signs that alert you of potential snow and ice damage. Some of the most common signs include the following.
● Visible cracks or missing shingles.
● Creaking sounds
● Cracked ceilings or walls
● Ice build up in gutters
● Water pools
● Darkened portions of the roof
If you recognize any of the above or have reason to believe that your roof may be damaged, it’s essential that you contact a roofing professional immediately.
At Rose Roofing, our professionals have years of experience and are happy to help you navigate any suspected damage. Contact us for a free quote. Our experts aim to make the repair process as smooth as possible and will collaborate with your insurance company to address damage from the snow and ice.