When a winter snow storm comes through your part of town, you may wonder if that additional weight of wet snow on your roof is anything to be concerned about. Here is what you need to know about dealing with snow on your roof, which will help ensure it is not damaged.
Know About Load Restrictions
There are building codes in place that require roofs to accommodate the additional weight of snow. These codes are different for every city, and they do change over the years. If you want to get an idea about how much weight your roof can hold, reach out to a city building inspector to figure out what the building codes were in your area the year your house was built. Then use a basic formula to determine how many inches of snow it will take to equal that weight.
In general, a home can withstand one or two feet of fresh snow without any issue. The problem is when that snow becomes compacted and forms into ice, which will be much denser and heavier than fresh snow.
It is best to prevent snow buildup to avoid potential problems. Roofs that are steep and made of metal do a great job at preventing buildup because the snow should slide right off the surface. Of course, changing the structure of your roof is not exactly practical, but switching to a metal roof when you need roof replacement can be.
You can also help melt snow with heat cables. These are spread across a roof and secured using clips, and they will melt all of that ice and snow as it falls on your roof. The cables provide enough gentle heat that it will speed up the process of melting the snow on the surface.
If you do have snow buildup, you'll want to remove the snow using a special rake designed specifically for removing snow from a roof. It has a telescopic handle that lets you reach the roof from the ground, so you will never have to step foot on a ladder to use it. However, be careful as you pull snow off the roof, since it can fall right on you.
If you think your roof became damaged due to the weight of heavy snow, talk to a local roofing contractor at a company like Top Dog Roofing. They can inspect the roof and let you know about how to go about repairing it.