It is the dead of winter in the Midwest and we have definitely seen our fair share of snow thus far. We all know the effects snow has on driving, safety, and the obvious winter hazards, but there is one other item we need to be checking regularly, something that if left neglected could cost us a lot of money when the snow begins to melt, our Roofs.
A few inches of the white stuff isn’t usually an issue, but when we accumulate more than five inches of snow on our roof we risk structural damage to the roof or worst-case scenario a roof collapse, if it gets to heavy. The simple solution to this is to invest in a roof rake. Roof rakes can be purchased at most big box home improvement stores for around fifty dollars. A roof rake is easy to use and keeps your feet planted firmly on the ground while removing heavy snow loads off of your roof.Click to investigate blog post.
The next issue we run into is damage caused by the cold temperatures and ice. All it takes is a quick walk around the outside of your house to know if this is an issue. First, if you see ice or icicles hanging from your eves you already know you have an issue. This indicates that warm air is escaping into your attic and melting some snow, which in turn runs down the roof and re-freezes at the eves or gutters. The problem with this is eventually the water run off does not have anywhere to go and will eventually back up under your shingles causing a roof leak. This is what is known as an ice dam.
Another way to know if you’re losing heat in the attic is the snow should evenly coat your entire roof. If you notice areas that are clear and other areas have several inches of snow build up, you are more than likely losing heat into the attic. If this is happening, look at those areas in your attic and check the insulation.
Ice dams and heavy snow loads can cause you many costly problems. Roof leaks, structural damage and high-energy bills are just a few. The first thing you should do is to have the excess snow removed from your roof and have the ice dams thawed so they don’t cause an immediate issue. Next, you should consult with a qualified insulation and ventilation contractor to have the issues in your attic fixed. Usually the cost of having your insulation and ventilation corrected will pay for itself quickly considering roof repairs and energy bills are not cheap.
These are not the only issues caused by snow, ice, and cold temperatures. They are however some of the most common, delaying action to have them fixed could be very costly in the end.
Never climb on a snow-covered or icy roof and always consult with a professional if you don’t feel comfortable with any of these tasks. Roofs are very dangerous if not handled with extreme caution.