How to Avoid Roof Collapse (Without Raking Snow)?

Winter can hit your home and roof really hard. It’s no secret that snow causes all kinds of trouble. Snow build-up and repeated storms often cause roof leaks and potentially life-threatening structural damage. It’s a serious risk that may literally bring your house down. While this problem may go unnoticed until it is too late, it is paramount to understand why roofs collapse and make better decisions as homeowners to beat the ice.

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Why Roofs Collapse

Although building codes consider environmental hazards, they are based on average conditions. Most homes are not prepared to face extreme weather and unpredictable storms, like we’ve seen over the years.

Most residential roofs can support around 20 pounds per square foot of snow. Each square foot with 10-12 inches of fresh snow can weigh around 5 pounds. After a few days, it packs into heavy ice, and as little as 4 inches of hard ice can put too much pressure on specific spots, causing the roof to collapse.

The weight of the roof itself is already a big load. Traditional roofing materials such as slate or tile are naturally heavy, while asphalt and wood shingles absorb water, increasing the pressure.

Warnings that your roof is overloaded:

  1. Doors or windows that seem “stuck” and are difficult to open / close
  2. Sudden cracking and popping noises
  3. Sagging roof parts (plywood sheathing, ceiling boards or grid)
  4. Cracked or split wood members, walls or masonry
  5. Beware of leaks, as wet insulation, mold, rotting wood and damaged drywall all contribute to a collapse.

Issues with Raking Snow

If you enjoy raking snow, you may skip the next paragraphs. But probably, you’re like most of us that hate going out on a freezing day to remove snow. It’s a big effort that takes you away from better things you would rather do with your time. Worst of all, if done improperly, it can damage the roof or harm someone.

Common risks and mistakes are:

  1. Pulling the rake sideways can damage shingles and cause leaks
  2. Falling from ladders or being hit by falling snow and ice
  3. Hitting power lines can cause an electrical shock
  4. Regular raking will remove the granules on asphalt roofs, reducing its lifespan
  5. Hitting power lines can cause an electrical shock
  6. Depending on the shape of your roof, it is hard to reach all areas. Since hiring a snow removal professional can be expensive, a more cost-effective alternative is available
  7. Beat the Ice with Metal Roofing

With a fairly smooth surface, metal roofs are extremely effective in shedding snow. Metal reflects the energy from the sun (emitting heat away from the roof) helping to melt the snow, that then naturally slides off. It is one of many factors that make metal roofing so popular in areas prone to severe snowfall (from Alaska to New England).

Depending on the design and pitch of your roof, just by owning a metal roof, you can significantly reduce the need to rake snow. You may even go the entire winter without having to rake. Discuss your needs and concerns with your roofing project manager. They can also advise you on the installation of snow guards close to pathways, protecting doors, balcony and your garage.

The outstanding ratio between great strength and low weight has positioned aluminium as the preferred metal for high-performance industries. It allowed us to create a lifelong roofing solution that is up to 95% lighter than tile or slate.

The inorganic nature of metal keeps the weight of the roof constant (preventing variation between dry and wet weight, common with other materials).

A lifetime roof is a great investment! You avoid future roof replacement costs, save on energy bills by owning an energy-efficient roof, not to mention the peace of mind of having a roof that will last for many winters.

Call for Commercial roofing, free quote available: (270) 473 1514