Can My Roof Handle the Snow?

Can My Roof Handle the Snow?

Not even a week into 2014, and the northeast has already been hit with a snowstorm. A small town just north of Boston was hit the hardest with a full two feet of snow, while down here in Virginia we got the tail-end of the storm with a mere two inches:

Northeast Snow Storm Brings Extreme Cold To U.S.

BOSTON (AP) — A blanket of white provided the Northeast with little relief from teeth-chattering temperatures that forecasters said will rise over the weekend before plunging again. …

Fortunately, here in Northern Virginia the snow was light enough that it caused little in the way of damages or power outages. But this is still early winter, and the possibility of much heavier snows is strong. And with heavier snows comes the danger of damages to your roof. According to an article from the Chicago Tribute:

“It takes only about 8 inches of melting snow atop a roof to create the kind of instability that can threaten lives and ring up costly repair bills.”

The problem is not just the weight of the snow on the roof – the article explains that the heat from inside the house can cause the snow to melt, which can lead to a lot of different kinds of water damage. In some cases,  the water will also refreeze into ice, which can cause some pretty serious damage to the roof as the ice expands. Removing excessive amounts of snow from the roof is generally the only way to prevent these issues  – read the following article for some tips on how to do so safely:

Prevent a Roof Collapse: Remove Ice and Snow

Heavy snow and ice accumulation, coupled by a wave of roof collapses, have left residents of the Northeast rushing to remove enough snow before their rooftops give way. The demand is so great that snow removal tools…

Of course, the better condition your roof is in the less likely it is for damage to occur. When was the last time your roof was inspected? If it’s been over a year, now would be the time to get a proper roof inspection done – it could save you a lot of time and money in the long-term.

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