I’m so glad I found you! I just moved from Texas to Reading and…it’s snowing!!!
While I’m super excited to live near my family, this is also my first home where winter weather is a concern. I read your article about ice dams, but what about snow weight? Is that something I should be worried about?
What are your thoughts?
Kristin from Reading, PA”
Good morning Kristin!
Congrats on your new home- and welcome back north. Snow is one of our favorites here in the Martin house. With a little prep, I hope you can enjoy a white Christmas here without stress.
You’re worried about your roof’s “Snow Load”.
Or- how much weight in snow (and ice) your roof can safely hold.
The good news? You probably don’t need to be. When you bought your home, your inspection report should include a detailed look at your roof’s condition. Modern, well-maintained roofs aren’t at high risk for collapse.
When you hear about roofs collapsing under snow weight, it’s usually due to compounding factors like:
- Low sloped roofs that can’t shed melt fast enough
- Older roofs with pre-existing structural issues
- Unbalanced snow drift that unevenly distributes the weight on your roof
- And snow and ice storms (or “events”) that happen too close together for the roof to shed the melt
While you can’t control the weather, you can check your roof to make sure it’s ready for winter. You’ve already read my article on ice dams and how to prevent them– you can also read up on roof ventilation and insulation here.
Hopefully, when you bought your home it came with a full inspection. With these resources and your report in hand, you should have a good idea of how your roof will hold up this winter. (If you have more questions, feel free to call us at 570-345-0406 or schedule a call here. We’d be happy to take a look!)
Should You Remove the Snow From Your Roof?
Let’s say we do get one of those storms of the century this year. Should you be donning your snow pants and heading up to your roof with a push broom?
Don’t panic when the weather reporters are getting excited- and think twice before you head up to remove the snow yourself.
In general, there are more risks than advantages to removing the snow on your roof. Not only is it dangerous to you- improper removal can lead to shingle damage and leaks. That’s the last thing you want in the middle of the winter!
If the snow starts to get heavy, FEMA’s guide to snow load safety is a great quick resource to have on hand.
A roof will give signs of stress before collapsing. Listen to your home and you can spot the signs that your roof is at risk.
Leave your home and call a professional if we’ve had several days of severe weather (or a lot of accumulation) and
- You notice doors and windows that are no longer opening/closing
- There are sudden cracks in your masonry or drywall
- You notice water pooling on your roof
- Leaks have sprung inside your home
- You hear a lot of cracking or popping inside your home’s structure
These are signs your roof is stressed- and may be at risk for collapse.
Want to dive deeper into how snow load plays a role in your roof’s health? The Snow Load Safety Guide is a 44 page resource filled with specific information about snow types and weight, roof construction, home insulation, drainage, and more.
Still not sure if your roof is ready for winter? We’d love to get you on our schedule and help you protect your home before the snow really starts to fly. Give me a call at 570-345-0406 and we’ll set up a time to come take a look.
Never miss an article! Keep up with the latest at Martin Roofing and Siding by signing up for our email list here: