The Importance of Removing Snow from Your Roof

After a significant snowfall, shoveling your home’s driveway and walkways is probably the first thing on your mind.

Sure, it’s essential to avoid slips and falls and allow you and your family to carry on with routines, but it’s also important not to overlook snow and ice build-ups on your home’s roof.

Accumulation of snow and ice on your roof after a big winter storm or two can be dangerous for your home and your loved ones.  

To prepare for winter, make sure you understand when it’s time to contact a professional for help with roof snow removal.

The Risks of Snow and Ice Build-Up

In regions where heavy snowstorms are common, houses tend to be built with steep-sloped roofs, which helps much of the snow slide off on its own after a storm.

However, it’s still possible for dangerous levels of snow to accumulate on a sloped roof. When snow starts to build up, it begins to weigh heavily on the roof, which can lead to sinking and even collapse.

Homes with older roofs are especially at risk of snow-related problems because their support structures may not be in good enough shape to deal with the weight of the excessive snow.

Ice dams are another risk that you need to be aware of. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms around the edges of a roof and will likely cause significant interior damage below the roof

These ice dams occur when the water from a melting snowpack reaches the eves of your roof and refreezes. This can happen because the snow starts melting during the day but refreezes overnight when the temperatures drop.

The ridges formed by ice dams prevent snow from sliding off on its own, retain even more water from melting snow, and add additional weight that your roof and gutters may not support.

If major structural failure occurs, this can lead to roof repairs.

Ensure you know how to spot the signs of dangerous snow and ice build-up this winter. That way, you’ll know when to call roof snow removal experts.

Signs of Potential Winter Damage

Some of the most common signs that there’s too much snow and ice build-up on your roof are:

  • Missing shingles
  • Water damage in your home
  • Broken gutters
  • Sagging in your roof

Missing shingles

Roof shingles become much more brittle in freezing temperatures. So, if you have a shingle roof, the extra stress created by snow and ice can cause shingles to loosen or break off throughout the winter.

Keep an eye on your roof during the colder months for damaged or missing shingles, and get them repaired immediately if you spot any.

Water damage in your home

Without proper drainage, melting snow and ice can filter under shingles and get inside your home. The resulting water damage could be caused by ice dams, clogged gutters, or another drainage issue.

If you notice any water stains or leaks inside your home during the winter, contact a professional roof contractor immediately to inspect the damage and identify its source.

Broken gutters

When ice and snow fill your gutters and ice dams form around your eves, all that additional weight can result in broken gutters.

For perspective, consider that a cubic foot of ice weighs approximately 57 pounds, and a cubic foot of snow can weigh anywhere from about 7 pounds to 20 pounds, depending on how compact it is.

Now, imagine all that combined weight of snow and ice in your gutters after a big winter storm.

This is why it’s so important to ensure your roof’s drainage is working before the winter and to keep an eye out for broken gutters over the winter to fix minor problems before they become severe.

Sagging in your roof

As long as your roof’s drainage is functioning well and your roof itself is in good shape, it should support up to about 30 pounds per square foot of additional weight from snow and ice, which amounts to several feet of snow.

After any snowstorm, look at your roof from all angles outside your property for dips, bows, humps, and waviness in the roofline. If anything seems out of the ordinary, contact a professional right away.

Benefits of Metal Roofing in the Winter

Metal roofing is less likely to have snow build up during the winter because it has a smoother surface than other roofs. Therefore, there’s also less risk of ice dams on metal roofs.

Suppose the snow does happen to stick and accumulate. In that case, metal roofing materials are more durable than shingles and can withstand more weight, so your roof is not as likely to experience sagging or collapse.

There’s also no risk of losing pieces of the roofing material due since it is secured with screws and installed as large sheets.

If your property is due for a new roof, consider installing metal roofing to mitigate the hazards of ice and snow build-up next winter.

Let Woodland HomeWorks Help You with Roof Snow Removal

Keeping your roof free of snow build-ups and ice dams during the winter is of the utmost importance. But climbing up on your roof to deal with snow and ice in inclement weather without the proper safety precautions, tools, and experience, is a risk in and of itself.

Woodland HomeWorks provides professional roof snow removal services, so you don’t have to worry about your home’s safety. We can also repair any winter damage to your roof to avoid further problems and hazards.

Our exceptional roofing contractors are fully insured and are here to get the job done right the first time!