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February 2021 Snowfall and Roofing Problems

While a fresh snowfall can be enjoyable to watch, it is not your roof’s best friend. As the snow piles up, it creates a heavyweight on the roof. Thawing, re-freezing, and new snowfall can add to the problem. The added weight will quickly become a burden on a roof.

Low-slope roofs are more susceptible to damage than steeper roofs because heavy snows cannot easily slide off. Wind-blown drifting can create huge snowdrifts, resulting in substantial loads on certain parts of the roof. Multi-level roofs encourage drifting – putting low areas at greater risk for damage.  Snow or ice accumulation, drifting, and wind can cause unanticipated roof failures and leaks. Roofs can (and do) cave in with no warning signs.

Another potential problem from a build-up of snow is for ice dams to form and cause damage to inside walls and ceilings.

  • Snow covering a roof traps heat form a house and creates a source of water.
  • Snow melts unevenly, usually because ventilation or insulation problems cause the roof over the attic to be warmer than the roof over the eaves.
  • Ice builds up at the edge of the roof, clogging gutters and trapping water below the snow.

With nowhere to drain, water seeps between shingles and works its way back into the home or building.

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