It is possible for your roof to collapse under the weight of snow during the winter. This is because snow acts like a large sponge when it rains, absorbing all of the water quickly, and adding unnecessary weight to your roof. While snow and rain will not automatically lead to a roof collapse, they greatly increases the chances of it happening. Roof collapses can lead to major repair costs to fix your home, and potentially injure those inside. These tips will help prevent your roof from collapsing.
Prepare The Ground
Before you start clearing off the snow on your roof, it is a good idea to clear the ground surrounding your home. Get rid of any items that can be moved, and clear snow that has recently fallen. It will allow you to easily clear the new snow you remove from the roof and avoid a large buildup.
Take Preventative Measures Early
The reason your roof could collapse is from a large accumulation of snow. Do not make the mistake of waiting for it to build up to the point where something needs to be done. You should be removing snow after every snowstorm, and not waiting until the conditions have gotten to the point where something needs to be done about it.
Understand The Weight of Snow
A roof can support around 20 lbs per sq. ft. If the snow is fresh and fluffy, about 1 foot of snow will equal 5 lbs. of stress on your roof. If the snow is heavily packed after settling, only 3–5 inches of snow equals 5 lbs. A 1-inch thick layer of ice can also equal 5 lbs of weight on your roof.
When you combine the snow and ice in all of these different forms, your roof could easily see 20 lbs of weight if you do not remove it.
Remove The Snow In Layers
You may be tempted to remove the snow by scraping it off entirely in sections, but it is better to work in a methodical manner. Only remove a couple inches of snow at a time to avoid the weight of the snow building up as you remove it. Scraping hard against your shingles to remove a lot of snow could also cause damage to them. Remove just enough snow so that the bottom layer slides off on its own.
If you do have roof damage from excessive snow, contact a local roofing company like US Roofing for help with repairing it.