Painters and Christmas card makers love to show happy scenes of homes with a thick layer of snow on their roofs. In reality, snow and ice can severely damage your roof. Christmas card makers tend to ignore this fact. Fortunately, there are many things homeowners can do to protect their roofs from snow damage.
Clean Your Gutters Regularly
If melting ice and snow have nowhere to drain off of your roof, it will sit there like a small pool on your roof, putting your roof at risk for water damage. Melting snow and ice cannot drip off of a roof if the gutters are clogged. It’s best to get gutters cleaned twice a year in spring and autumn so insure that snow and ice can freely flow off of your roof.
Check the Drain Spouts
Melting snow and ice needs to be easily drained from your roof. However, this can be difficult if the spouts are blocked. Look at the area around the spout where water drips onto the ground. Make sure there is nothing there to block the spout’s end, such as branches, leaf piles, snow piles or mouse nests. If you suspect that wild animals or insects are nesting in your drain spout, contact a pest management professional to remove the squatters. Do not try to remove them yourself.
Remove Excessive Snow from Roofs
Does the area where you live regularly get huge snowfalls? Over time, the constant thick layers of snow will seep into roofs, attics and cause significant water damage. The sheer weight of ice and snow can also crack a roof. Make sure this doesn’t happen by planning now how to remove snow and ice from your roof. If you cannot get onto your roof to remove snow, contact your roofing contractor or landscaper. They may perform this service for you. Make arrangements before the first serious winter storm hits.
Using Roof Rakes
Homeowners with slanted roofs have an advantage over homeowners with flat roofs. They can use a long roof rake to remove snow from the safety of the solid ground. If you have power lines near your roof, avoid metal roof rakes. The roof does not need to be completely cleaned off. Leaving an inch or so of snow can help protect roofing tiles during the winter. Remove snow from the edge of the roof first to help it begin draining.
Emergency: Warning Signs of a Roof Collapse
Even the strongest roofs can collapse when under the constant weight of snow and ice. According to NBC News, just two feet of snow on the average sized roof weighs about 38,000 pounds. Roofs are not meant to hold that much weight for a prolonged period of time. If you see any of these signs of a roof collapse, get out of the house immediately and call a professional roofing contractor:
• Sagging ceilings
• Cracks along walls or masonry
• Any bending of pipes attached to the roof
• Sudden series of strange noises such as pops, cracks, creaks or groans.
Kidd Roofing serves Dallas and Austin. The winter months in Texas can be especially hard on roofs with the drastic weather changes. Be sure to keep an eye out for warning signs and check out Kidd Roofing’s Facebook page for more information.