At the first sight of snow, we grab our heavy coats and snow sleds and are excited to play in the fluffy, white snow. However, we are often unaware of how much damage snow and ice can cause to our roofs and home. Below are a few of the dangerous effects that snow can have on your roof that you should look out for:
5 Ways Snow Can Damage Your Roof
While it may appear light and fluffy, snow and ice, especially when compacted, can become extremely heavy and overburden your roof’s structure. When the weight of snow and ice is not distributed evenly across the roof, the risk of a cave-in is even greater. For instance, as ice and snow melt, water will flow to the lowest point of your roof, where is then refreezes and forms a large ice block. The great weight of this ice block may be enough to cause your roof to cave in.
Ice dams can cause significant damage to gutters, as ice melts and water makes its way to the edge of the roof. Here, the water freezes along the lower edge of roof and forms a large block of snow and ice, commonly known as an ice dam. Ice dams can weigh as much as a few hundred pounds, which could cause significant damage to the gutter and roofline. Ice dams are also dangerous because they could cause a backup of water, forcing water underneath shingles and leaking into your home.
Another unexpectedly heavy product of snow and ice are icicles. These are usually formed when gutters are full of leaves and debris or when ice dams form, causing water to overflow. As the water flows over the edge of roof, it meets the brisk cold temperatures and freezes. The weight of these icicles could lead to gutter damage and potentially even rip the gutter away from the home.
Freeze and Thaw:
The freeze and thaw cycle of water on your roof can make a once small and insignificant crack a major problem. As ice and snow melt, the water flows into nearby cracks. This water can then either enter your roofing structure and attic, causing internal damage, or it can refreeze inside of the crack. When water freezes, it expands, enlarging the size of the crack and increasing the risk of leaking and damage.
Snow alone is not the only way your roof can be damaged during the winter season. The weight of snow and ice can also cause nearby tree limbs and branches to fall on your home, penetrating and damaging your roof.
When is Removing Snow Not the Answer?
You’re first instinct may be to remove the snow immediately, however, improper technique and tools when removing snow can be more dangerous than leaving snow in its place. For instance, while a snow shovel will help you to remove large amounts of snow at once, it could puncture and damage shingles, likely introducing water into your roof. Additionally, some chemicals used to melt snow could degrade or ruin the effectiveness of shingles. Sometimes, it is better to leave the snow and allow it to melt over time.
What Precautions Can You Take Beforehand?
A few preventive measures you can take to reduce the chance of snow and ice damage include the following:
- Remove debris and leaves from gutters
- Replace missing or damaged shingles
- Repair low points in your roof
- Fasten gutters and flashing
Why are Metal Roofs the Best Choice for Snow?
Metal roofs are uniquely designed to prevent a buildup of snow and the adverse effects of snow. Snow and ice do not pile up on metal roofs as they do on others, but instead slide right off. This means there is no unnecessary weight as well as a decreased risk of ice damming. With a metal roof, you can sleep soundly knowing you are protected from the damaging effects of snow.
YOUR METAL ROOF EXPERTS:
Interested in installing metal roofs in time for snowy weather? We can help! Located in the Mid-South, Mighty Metal Roofing can help you find the perfect metal roof for you and your building. Our company is a locally owned roofing and remodeling company with over 25 years of experience and a specialty in metal roofs. We have a A+ rating with the Mid-South BBB. We provide free roof estimates and roof inspections along with a selection of finance options that best fit your budget.
Why Wait to Snow-Proof Your Home?
Contact Mighty Metal Roofing today to learn more about our metal roofing options!