When snow is piled on your house and icicles hang from your roof, your home may look like something from a winter wonderland. While the snow and ice may be picturesque, they could signal trouble for your roof. Here's how they are damaging and what you can do about it.
How Snow Can Damage Your Roof
Your roof should be built to withstand typical snowfalls for your climate. If your area has an excessively deep snow, all that snow could put too much weight on your roof. Rather than the amount of snow, it's the weight of snow that matters. Some snow is light and fluffy and less of a danger than heavy, wet snow.
Snow that's too heavy for your roof can cause your roof to collapse. You might want to buy a snow rake that comes with a telescoping pole so you can pull some snow from the roof while you stand on the ground. Climbing on the roof to remove the snow isn't a good idea due to the danger and also because you'll add more weight to the roof.
Why Ice Could Indicate Roof Problems
If your roof has a lot of icicles or if your gutters are full of ice, your roof could have an ice dam. Icicles hanging from the roof are dangerous since they could fall and hurt someone or your pet. Heavy ice can also damage your roof. Ice can even pull gutters away from your house.
Ice dams are often caused by poor ventilation. Once the situation has passed, you may want a roofer to add more ventilation to your roof so your attic doesn't heat up as much. When the underside of your roof gets too warm, the snow on top melts and by the time the melted snow slides to the edge of the roof, it has cooled off enough to freeze again.
When all the ice and snow melts, you may need to have roof repairs done. Some roof repairs you might need include replacing damaged shingles and repairing water damage to your roof. When the roofer comes to repair problems caused by heavy snow or ice dams, ask about how to prevent problems in the future.
If you've dealt with ice dams before, your roofer might suggest installing heating cables or making adjustments in your attic such as adding more insulation to keep warm air from wafting up from your living space, adding more roof vents, or plugging and sealing air leaks in your attic.
If you attempt to scrape off ice and snow yourself, be as gentle as possible with your roof or you might cause more damage and need more extensive roof repairs later. If you're worried about your roof because of all the ice or snow on it, call a professional for help so your roof sustains the least amount of damage possible until the snow and ice are gone and repairs can be made. Reach out to a roof repair company like Roofers of Minnesota Co. to get started.