Snowflakes may look light and fluffy as they fall, but the accumulated weight of snow can cause serious damage to your roof. These three methods can help you prevent snow from damaging your roof.
Most residential roofs are built to withstand up to 20 pounds per square foot and industrial roofs may be able to accommodate more than that. However, older roofs and flat roofs usually can sustain less weight before damage occurs. Not all snow weighs the same because of differing water content, but you can estimate the snow load on your roof by multiplying the depth in inches of the snow on your roof by 1.25 to get the pounds per square foot. For a more high tech solution, consider using predictive monitoring equipment to alert you when the snow load is dangerously high.
Ice can accumulate and block sections of your roof preventing snow from sliding off. Not only can ice dams increase the amount of snow that collects on your roof, but the weight of the ice itself can cause problems. Heating cables can prevent ice build-up and help snow slide off the roof. However, they can run your electricity bill up, so be sure to turn them off when they are not needed.
A long-handled rake can be used to remove snow from a pitched roof. However, it is best to use a rake designed specifically for this task, because rakes intended for lawn use could damage your roof. Avoid climbing on the roof or a ladder to remove snow. Ladders can be slippery and climbing on a snowy roof can be dangerous.
Allowing too much snow to collect on your roof can result in damage. These three methods can help you safely prevent excessive snow buildup.