Although the first winter snow may bring large flakes that float gently from the sky in a picture-perfect scenario, there is more to snowfalls than family sledding, creating angels, and snowball fights. If you live in an area that receives more than six inches of the falling flakes a year, your home may be significantly impacted. Here are three different types of possible snow damage and how to protect your home from each.
Fluffy powder snow contains very little water and is considered light in weight – at between one and five pounds per cubic foot. Wet snowflakes contain more water than fluffy flakes, and each cubic foot can weigh up to 21 pounds. That means when heavy snow falls, the weight of snow can quickly build and damage your roof. To protect your home, remove the buildup as soon as possible.
As accumulated snow begins melting, the water can enter cracks in your roofing materials and enter your attic or home. Tiny cracks grow as the water freezes each night, allowing more liquid to enter during the day. Prevent water leaks by removing snow before it can begin melting and repairing any cracks found between shingles, torn sections, or other damaged materials.
When the snow melts off your roof and freezes in your home’s gutters or melting ice begins to drip off the shingles, damaging ice dams can start hanging from the edge of your roof. Not only can the weight of the ice tear the shingle fabric off the rooftop, but the ice accumulation can also cause cracks in the gutters or tear them off your home. Remove the dams as they develop, and make sure your home’s insulation is sufficient to prevent melting snow.
You can prevent snow from damaging your home by taking proactive steps to protect your roof. Inspecting the condition of your roofing material and gutters each fall will allow you to catch potential problems. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting the building.