Is removing snow for your roof necessary? That is a good question and the answer will depend on who you ask. With the recent winter storms that we have had around most of the country the question some owners have is how much snow is too much to have on your roof. Large amounts of snow on your roof can be concerning for mainly two reasons.
The Weight of Snow
One is the weight of the snow. Is the snow heavy enough to cause my roof to collapse? We hear many horror stories of roofs collapsing from the amount of snow on the roof. It is hard to determine how much is too much. The inches of snow accumulation do not directly dictate the weight that is placed on the roof. The weight of snow is dependent on the water content. Wet snow is heavier than dry snow because of the higher water content. Dry, powdery snow weighs less and its dusty, flaky texture makes it prone to drifting, which is ideal for any roof designed for drifting.
Another reason why large amounts of snow on your roof can be an issue is Ice Dams. Ice dams are caused by heat escaping through your roof during the winter. As the heat escapes, it melts snow and ice on your roof. If it cannot drain off the roof, melting water leaks through your walls and ceiling, damaging your roof and potentially the inside of your home.
Unfortunately there is no consensus answer on whether or not it is necessary. Some experts believe that on slope roofs the weight of the snow is spread out enough that removing it is not an issue. However other roofing experts think that a removing the snow is beneficial. Our National Production manager Lucas Mullis says that “there are many factors that go into whether or not a certain roof needs to have this done, that you can’t really give general advice. However a general rule of thumb is the flatter the roof is or the lower the pitch the more likely it will need to be done. In this case it’s less likely the snow will slide off on its own, the steeper the pitch the less likely it will need to be done. Completely flat roofs are the most likely to need this done especially if there are parapet walls as the wind can blow it over into corners of the roof and create snowdrifts that are several feet thick that’s most likely when you have roofs collapse.
Lucas also says “first and foremost homeowners should not attempt to do this on their own they should consult a professional roofing contractor; it’s very dangerous to do and you can damage your roof if you do it incorrectly.
If you are concerned about winter roof maintenance on your property, contact Aspen Contracting for a free consultation