The winter can present lots of unique challenges to homeowners, and if you are not adequately prepared, there can be a few unwanted headaches as well. While ice and snow can be a lot of fun to play in, the impact it can have on the roofs of houses cannot be underestimated.
If you are not adequately prepared or have existing structural issues, you may get more than you bargained for when the snow comes. Which means it is always a good idea to stay on top of maintenance throughout the year. So, with that in mind, here are four tips to protect roofs from snow and ice.
We cannot stress this point enough—if you fail to maintain the exterior of your house, you are likely to have problems. That is why you should check your roof at least twice a year so you can make sure that there is no damage to shingles, gutters, or joins. If there is damage, the sooner you get it fixed, the better. Snow and ice are attracted to these weak points, and this may lead to further damage.
It is always a good idea to make sure that you monitor the growth of any trees around your property. Ideally, there should be no overhanging branches, as there is the risk that they might fall on the roof if there is a heavy snowstorm. Also, make sure your attic is not too hot, as this can lead to snow melts in the middle of the roof, which you certainly don’t want.
Clear the Gutters
It is essential that you make sure that your existing guttering remains clean and unclogged throughout the year. This is because if there are any blockages, then water will not move away from the house and could lead to water coming into the house.
The winter presents its own challenges to guttering, as blockages can create ice dams. These occur when ice and snow on the roof defrost during the day and then refreeze at night, leading to blocked gutters and nowhere for the runoff to go. As a result, the water will move upwards under the roofline and lead to some very costly damage.
Keep the Ice and Snow to a Minimum
It is absolutely essential that you make sure that you remove any excess snow and ice from the roof at regular intervals. Even if you live in higher altitudes in the Rockies, your roof will only be able to take so much snow before it gets overwhelmed and the whole thing comes crashing down.
To avoid this nightmare scenario, make sure you regularly rake off any snow from the roof edge, as this will help to prevent any ice dams forming. On the other hand, if you hear any complaints from your roof, such as pops and creaks, it would be a good idea to get an expert in to check and assist you in a more thorough removal.
This last point relates to ice buildup and people who like to take care of things themselves. You may be tempted to remove icicles from roofing and gutters, but we would advise you to let them melt at their own pace. If there is no noticeable sign of structural damage around them, then they can usually be left alone or at least can wait until an expert arrives to help.
Finally, always be careful when dealing with ice and snow on your roof, as it can be very unpredictable. Gently rake the snow from the edges of the roof and definitely don’t go onto the roof yourself unless you are appropriately trained and have the right equipment.