Winter Roofing: How to Prevent Roof Collapses
Canadians are no strangers to heavy snowfall. We’re used to bundling up in our winter gear, shovelling our driveways, and scraping frost off our car windshields. We are used to preparing for the coldest months of the year. Yet, winter hazards such as roof collapses, can still happen. Here are some winter roofing tips on how to reduce the risk of your roof collapsing.
How does a roof collapse in winter?
A roof collapse in winter occurs when there’s been too much snow and ice buildup which weighs down the structure of our homes. Household roofs are not built to support enormous amounts of snow. The National Research Council Canada website states, the minimum snow load amount a roof should be able to handle is 21 pounds per square foot or higher.
Ice and thermal shock are also contributing factors in winter elements affecting the sturdiness of your roof. If water seeps into a confined space during frigid temperatures; it can freeze and apply abundant pressure, which expands the confined space and may cause a leak. Thermal shock can happen when there’s a dramatic shift in temperature, and can create cracks and ruptures in your roof’s structure.
What are the signs of a collapsing roof?
If you are concerned about your roof collapsing, you can listen and look for these warnings such as loud popping noises, cracked drywall or plaster, bent utility pipes, sagging ceiling, and water leaks. If your house has a flat and low sloped roof or a roof built with rough roofing material, you will likely gather more snow.
How can you prevent a collapsing roof?
The good news is there are solutions to this winter roofing dilemma. You can perform regular maintenance on your roof to make sure it’s in solid shape. Keep an eye on how much snow is falling on your roof and if the gutters and downspouts are unclogged. If you are able to reach your roof from the ground, you can use a snow rake to clear off any snow. For safety reasons, it’s best to hire a professional snow removal company to ensure the protection of your home and prevent any injuries. You can also connect with a building science specialist, architect or engineer in your area to address any concerns with the structure of your roof.
To avoid winter roofing woes, keep an eye on your roof during periods of heavy snowfall and extreme cold temperatures. Review your home insurance policy or contact one of our licensed insurance advisors to learn more about roof coverage.