Know Your Facts
In 1975, stricter residential housing codes were enacted. Homes built before these regulations may not be strong enough to handle a particularly harsh winter without extra attention. If your roof was built after 1975 and is up to code, it should be able to withstand the heaviest average snow for your region. Even newly constructed homes, however, have their limits. In general, removing snow that’s 18 inches or more is advised. While the amount is important to note, the type should also be considered. New precipitation is the lightest, but it could melt and refreeze, creating additional weight. Thirty-eight inches of dry snow, also known as fresh snow, is equal to the weight of just six inches of wet snow. Ice is the heaviest and, therefore, poses the greatest risk. As a homeowner, you should determine the makeup of the precipitation and then look for signs of structural trouble.
Signs of Damage
There are certain indicators that point to permanent damage. Some signs of a stressed roof include sagging ceiling tiles, popping or creaking noises, cracked walls, or a leaking roof. Take note if interior doors are starting to stick. This could be a sign that the weight on the central structure is distorting the doorframe. Double check the drywall or plaster around the frame for visible cracks. If there is structural damage, a professional consultation will help you target the weak areas and find solutions.
Calling Roofing Contractors
Hiring a professional each season is far less expensive than paying for repairs or replacement caused by winter weather. Immediately after severe snowfalls, stress caused by the weight and pressure can cause structural damage. Removal crews have the special ladders, safety ropes, and tools that are needed to efficiently remove all snow and ice. They will analyze the pitch, shingles, and location to determine how much precipitation needs to be removed and the best possible removal plan.
Some homeowners may attempt to melt snow by placing heaters in the attic. In the end, this can cause more harm. When the water runs down the slope, it refreezes in the gutter, creating ice dams and blocking proper runoff movement. This phenomenon can also occur naturally as melting can be caused by the heat from direct sunlight exposure. If you notice the formation of ice dams in your gutters or anywhere on the exterior of your home, contact a roofing contractor.
When inclement weather strikes, roofing contractors can help you maintain the structural integrity of your home. Don’t risk your family’s safety on improper cleaning techniques; contact a professional for expert service.