How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof

How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof

While our snowfalls in North Carolina are minimal to nonexistent, the season does occasionally bring freezing rain that leaves a layer of ice on homeowners’ rooftops. 

You may have guessed that this isn’t good, but what exactly do snow and ice do?

Check out these tips and guidelines about winter weather from top roofers in Raleigh, NC.

Snow and Ice Put Strain on Your Roof

Raleigh roofers know how heavy snow is: around 21 pounds per square foot. Snow building up on your roof is putting strain on its capacity to hold weight, and the weight can cause small holes to form, resulting in leaks developing.

But well-constructed and maintained trusses and decking enable roofs to hold quite a lot of snow, and the roof’s pitch will help snow to slide off.

Because the weight of excess snow and ice can result in a cave-in, it is vital to reduce the amount of frozen water sitting on your roof, by using a tool such as a roof rake. If the problem is serious, contact the best roofer in Raleigh for assistance.

Poor Insulation and Winter Weather Are a Bad Mix

Roofing specialists in Raleigh, NC generally consider snow on your roof a neutral or even positive sign. It shows that the insulation in your attic is working properly, preventing heat from escaping (which would push up your energy bills).

If heat is escaping, however, the snow melts and the meltwater runs down the roof to the eaves. Here, where conditions are much cooler, the water refreezes as ice. The so-called ice dams that form trap water, preventing it from running away along the gutters and downpipes to the ground.

Instead, this water backs up behind the ice dam, into the walls and associated spaces of your home.

This water wreaks destruction in your home, damaging paint, rotting insulation, leaving stains, and encouraging mold and mildew growth, with the spores that come with that (these spores are highly detrimental to some people’s health).

Water that makes its way down through the walls of your home to the foundation slab can result in its cracking, which distorts the structure of the entire building.

The Nasty Problems Ice Can Cause

Ice weighs in at around 57 pounds per square foot, so a few inches of snow puts immense strain on the weight-bearing capacity of your roof. Roofing contractors in Raleigh advise you to take every precaution against ice building up on your roof.

Water that freezes in small cracks and gaps in a roof will wedge them open, widening them and allowing more water in. Over time, the splits widen, resulting in costly repair work being necessary.

Proactive Protection for Your Roof

Check your gutters and clean them before winter hits. Be sure to invest in a roof rake or similar tool, so you can remove snow from your roof. And most importantly, schedule a roof inspection with Raleigh roofers, so they can identify any weak spots needing repair.

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