Can Snow Cause Water Damage
You know that heavy rain can cause damage, especially if you have roof problems. But, does snow cause water damage? In short, yes. Snow is crystalline, frozen water. When there's too much snow on your roof or in your gutters, it can cause several problems related to water damage. The good news is, you can take steps to help keep your home safe, protect your roof, and reduce the risk of water damage.
Can Snow Damage Your Roof?
Yes. Heavy snow can cause damage to your roof in several ways. First and most frightening, heavy snow can put too much weight on your roof, causing it to collapse. Many homeowners have nightmares about precisely this scenario! While possible, however, a roof collapsing under the weight of snow occurs only rarely. Your roof is designed to be sturdy, and it can stand up to a great deal of weight--including weight from the snow.
More worrisome is the ice damage that can occur in freezing temperatures. Snow and ice can damage your roof and home in several ways.
Melting snow can cause flood damage.
As snow melts, which it may do on a sunny day, even if the temperature does not rise above freezing, it can cause the same type of damage you would experience during a flood. Melting snow may creep into areas that rain doesn't usually reach, causing snow and ice damage throughout your house.
The presence of icicles can suggest the presence of potentially hazardous ice dams.
Ice dams create a barrier on your roof and in your gutters. While icicles may create the image of a winter wonderland, they may suggest that your roof and gutters have blockages that do not allow adequate drainage. As a result, you may find melting ice making its way into your home.
Freezing water can create cracks and damage.
As melting snow and ice make their way into your roof, gutters and eaves, they can refreeze, which can cause significant damage to your home. Freezing water expands, leading to cracks and other types of damage.
Mold can cause ongoing damage to your home.
During the winter months, you may still struggle with mold growth in and around your home. Significant mold growth can lead to health hazards for your entire family. Snow can prevent adequate airflow and add increased moisture in some areas, which may raise the risk of mold growth.
How Do You Keep Snow Away From Your House?
For that matter, should you remove snow from around your house? You do not have to worry about minor snow buildup. If you live in an area that regularly gets a lot of snow and ice in the winter, you may have a more robust roof than you think. Even an average roof can hold up to four feet of fresh snow or two feet of old, packed snow before it starts to put undue pressure on the roof.
Try some of these tactics to help protect your roof and prevent water damage in snowy months.
Invest in a roof rake.
A roof rake can quickly help you remove the snow from your roof and prevent excess buildup. You can use the roof rake to scrape snow off of the roof while standing on the ground.
Maintain the right temperature in your house and attic.
Increased heat in the attic during the winter months can aid in creating ice dams, which may lead to increased water damage. Instead, before the cold arrives with a vengeance, bring in a professional to check your insulation and ensure that your attic stays cold. This will help prevent snow from melting prematurely and refreezing into ice dams.
Get your roof inspected.
Before the cold winter months arrive, have your roof inspected--especially if you're preparing for a colder winter than usual or see predictions of excess snow. A roof inspection can identify problem areas and allow you to schedule repairs before incoming snow and ice cause more severe damage.
Discuss your options with a professional.
For example, in some cases, you may choose to install a heated cable around the edge of your roof, which will melt ice dams and keep water flowing naturally through your gutters. In others, a professional may recommend replacing your gutters or taking other steps to help protect your roof and your home from snow and ice.
Should You Shovel Snow Off Your Roof?
Will hopping up on your roof with a snow shovel allow you to get rid of snow quickly? Not really. Using a shovel on your roof could cause you to mistakenly damage your shingles, which may leave you with a more serious problem than snow and ice. Not only that, hopping up on the roof with a shovel could increase your risk of a fall, especially if you don't have a harness to help keep you on the roof.
Instead, try these tactics to get rid of snow quickly.
Set up an appointment with a professional.
If you suspect that your roof is starting to have problems or ongoing snow and ice problems, bring in a professional to help you remove snow and ice from your roof.
Use your roof rake.
You'll need to be proactive about using the roof rake to keep your roof clear of potential hazards.
Deicer, appropriately positioned, can help melt snow from around dangerous areas. You can also arrange a deicer around your gutters to help reduce ice dams and buildup. >
Put down a tarp in dangerous areas.
Using a tarp can help you quickly remove snow and ice from problem areas following heavy snowfall. If you notice yourself constantly needing to remove snow from a specific location, this could help you get through the winter.
Are you having problems with snow and ice this winter? Contact us today to set up an appointment for a professional evaluation of your needs.