Snow covered roof tops and icicles covering eaves may look beautiful and look like a scene from a holiday post card. However, snow and icicles are much more deadly and problematic then they look. Too much snow on a roof can lead to a roof collapsing and icicles can cause harm and injuries. Icicles can cause roof problems such as loose shingles, water backing up into the home or cause the gutter to sag or break off the roof. For areas prone to cold and snowy winters, you will want to take steps to protect your roof and household. Nickerson Roofing would like to share how you can prevent ice dams and heavy snow cover on your home’s roof this winter season.
When Should I Worry About Snow & Ice Dams on Roof?
When snow builds on top of a roof, it adds weight. Frozen water is heavy and a roof is designed to only hold up so much weight. When the snow becomes too thick, your roof may break under the weight of the snow. It is important to remove snow on a roof before it becomes too heavy. Snow on a roof also creates “ice dams.” When you see icicles forming along the edge of the roof, you most likely have an ice dam. When the snow melts and refreezes, you get icicles. The top of the icicles form a dam like structure. Ice expands and will take much longer to melt than will snow. The snow will melt first which causes water to pool on top of the roof. The water will eventually work its way into the roof’s inner structure and cause mold, mildew, wood rot and other interior roof damages. Both snow and ice dams can be a major danger to your home and its roof. This is why it is important to take steps in preventing snow and ice dams from forming.
How Do You Prevent Snow Dams
Rooftop Snow Removal – To prevent both ice dams and snow damage, one effective method is to simply remove the snow. By removing the snow, you will not have to worry about the weight of the snow or water damage caused by the snow or ice. However, removing snow from a roof is very dangerous and requires a number of safety measures. For this reason it is recommended that you seek a professional rooftop snow removal service. They have the tools and equipment to remove the snow and do it safely.
Gutter Systems – To help your roof better handle the snow, it is recommended that you have 18 gauge welded steel gutters. These gutters can better withstand the weight from snow and ice and aid the melting snow in properly flowing away from the home. However, there is even more you can do to help your roof. You can install a heated gutter guard and screen. The heated gutter guard will help ensure the melting snow will not refreeze, causing ice damage to from.
Heated Cables – To ensure you roof doesn’t develop ice damage you can also have heated cables (also known as heated trace cables) installed on your roof. Heated cable is designed to prevent ice dams from forming that can lift up shingles and lead to other roofing damages.