The Dangers Of Snow And Ice On The Roof

Winter brings with it temperature extremes along with snow, ice and winds that can create problems for a home’s roof. Let’s talk about the impact that wintry weather can have on their roof. Those impacts include:

Ice dams

An ice dam is a layer of ice that forms at the edge of a roof when heat from an attic can cause snow on the roof to melt. When the melted snow reaches the cold overhang at the eave and re-freezes, an ice dam is formed. Large, prevalent icicles can be one indicator that an ice dam has formed. The key concern with ice dams is that water from melting snow can back up behind the dam and fi­nd its way under shingles, then leak into your home. Proper ventilation and attic insulation can prevent ice damming.

Roof Avalanches

In high snowfall areas, some steep sloped roofs could experience avalanches, where snow packed onto a roof releases all at once. The weight and sudden release can be very dangerous to ground areas directly below the eaves. Consider cordoning off the area to prevent injury.

Extreme weight

There are some instances where the snow load on the roof becomes so heavy that roof collapse becomes a concern. Refer to The International Business for Home and Safety’s guidelines to determine when the weight on the roof is in the danger zone. Should you need to remove snow to prevent potential collapse it’s important to call a professional roofing contractor to safely remove the load.