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Protecting Your Home’s Roof from Snow

Most people tend to think that danger from excessive snow and ice lies below on sidewalks, roads and similar surfaces. Yet snow that accumulates on rooftops can also pose significant hazards ranging from leaks inside your building to total failure and collapse of the roof itself. It’s important, therefore, to monitor the amount of snow on your roof and even carefully remove it through the use of a variety of winter roof products, similar to those available from Rocky Mountain Snow Guards. By doing so, you’ll maintain the integrity of your roof and lessen the chance of snow-related disaster occurring.

Removing Roof Snow

Too much snow can place a lot of stress on your roof and cause property damage. Remove at least the first three to four feet of snow from around gutters to keep them open and to help avoid ice dams that can build up from the freeze-thaw cycle and contribute to problems. If you have a flat section and feel comfortable doing so, you can get on top and shovel snow away, being careful not to disturb the roof covering. For sloped roofs, a long-handled roof rake made especially for removing snow works well. The amount you should remove depends on the type of roof and its age, but if you have more than a foot of snow on it, make sure that some is removed. However, if you feel uncomfortable about climbing ladders or believe the load is too difficult to do yourself, contact a professional.

Keep Gutters Clear

Another important aspect of winter roof care is keeping gutters and downspouts clear. The area around your downspouts should remain clear of snow and ice so that snow melt from higher up on the roof can flow into gutters and reach downspouts. Backups that occur from the freeze-thaw cycle can cause ice dams, and if severe enough can cause water to penetrate the roof membrane. Roof rakes are efficient at breaking up ice dams. You can also try placing calcium chloride or other ice melting chemicals to help break up the dams. Make sure you purchase the right ladder. 

Long-Term Solutions

Better attic insulation can help prevent ice dams from forming along with sealing sent pipes, flashings and the like to prevent air leakage. Installing a water-repellent membrane underneath shingles also helps protect your property.

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