While It May Look Pretty, Heavy Snow on a Roof Can Cause Extensive Damage
There is an inherent beauty to the vision of pure-white, snow-covered roofs as one walks along city streets at this time of year. Add some colourful seasonal decorations to these rooflines or rooftops and it can truly be the epitome of a winter wonderland.
Unfortunately, while this scene may seem idyllic on the surface, it can have a rather dark underside; that is, excess accumulation of snow on a roof can cause a significant amount of structural damage to the roof and/or other areas of the home, subsequently leading to substantial repair costs. This can become a particularly troublesome situation when:
- The snow build-up is compacted
- Ice forms beneath the snow layer
- Depth of the snow exceeds six inches
Property owners may not be familiar with the type of roof damage that can occur from a heavy accumulation of snow on its surface, nor the extent of that damage; for example:
- Ice Dam Formation – snow on the roof is melted by heat escaping from the home then refreezes along the eaves of the roof and thus creates an ice dam; this prevents any subsequent melted snow from draining into the gutters, which then finds its way under the roof surface, damaging the shingles, roof deck, interior walls, and ceilings.
- Gutter Damage – gutters become overburdened with snow and ice, exceeding their weight limit and causing them to bend, buckle, or dislodge from the eave/fascia; this will also let water/melted snow flow directly down the sides of the home, leading to potential issues with the masonry, siding, and/or the foundation.
- Leaks/Water Penetration – there are several ways that water can enter the home; if it cannot properly drain from the rooftop, it will in essence look for alternate travel routes and eventually gain access through damaged/loose shingles, dried or missing caulking, loose flashing around vents or skylights, or cracks in the chimney masonry.
- Attic Condensation – excess snow can block or impede the proper ventilation of the attic space, resulting in the formation of high moisture build-up/condensation in this area and the possibility of future issues with the shingles, roof deck, and insulation; it can also affect energy efficiency and lead to higher monthly utility costs.
- Roof Collapse – the risk of structural failure, while rare, is plausible if snow loads exceed acceptable limits; stress from the excess weight can cause leaks or cracks in the roof deck and, in the most extreme cases, buckled ceilings, distorted walls, and jammed doors and windows. In addition to any structural damage and its associated repair costs, there is also the possibility of serious injury to the occupants.
Therefore, it will be important for property owners to be aware of snow accumulation on their roof and to have it removed as soon as possible if it appears heavy/compacted or if it attains a depth of about six inches. However, working at heights or on rooftops can be hazardous at the best of times and winter conditions can certainly intensify the risk level.
Consequently, property owners confronted with heavy snow loads on their roofing would be well-advised to contract the professional roof snow/ice removal services offered by an experienced roofing contractor such as Avenue Road Roofing.
Roof Snow Removal Requires Specialized Skills, Equipment, and Crew Training
In addition to the safety concerns connected to do-it-yourself snow removal from a roof, property owners can inadvertently cause damage to their roof and thus incur the costs of needless winter roofing repairs. By contracting the snow/ice removal services of Avenue Road Roofing, property owners can simultaneously avoid these circumstances and make sure that any heavy accumulations are properly cleared.
Relying on their extensive experience, the team from Avenue Road Roofing will apply the proper techniques to remove the snow and any ice dams based on such factors as the:
- Snow volume
- Roof height/area
- Type of roof material
- Type of snow (light/wet)
- Type of roof (flat/sloped)
Furthermore, Avenue Road Roofing will take the necessary precautions to prevent injury or any liability issues due to falling snow or ice during the removal process, especially in relation to pedestrian traffic around multi-residential or commercial buildings. Avenue Road Roofing can also install such features as snow guards or snow rails to minimize the potential for future liability concerns.
Snow and ice removal from any roof requires specialized skills, equipment, and training to ensure that the task is completed fully and correctly and with an appropriate attention to safety and the protection of property.
For additional information on the benefits of contracting the trained crews from Avenue Road Roofing for the removal of accumulated snow/ice from the roof of your home or building this winter, see our Snow & Ice Roof Removal page.
For efficient and skillful removal of snow and ice from your roof, call the professionals from Avenue Road Roofing today at 647-360-7743 or Contact us to discuss how our services can help you avoid unnecessary roof or structural damage and repair costs.