When Is Snowfall A Concern For Your Roof?

Posted on: 13 June 2023

When it snows, do you need to worry about your roof? The short answer to this question is "It depends." Of course, there are a lot more important details involved. In most cases, light to moderate snowfall is not a major concern as long as your roof is in good condition. However, you may need to take some actions or precautions during or after a snowstorm if any of the following are true.

You're getting an unusual amount of snow in your area.

When roofers select a roofing material, they are careful to select one that can withstand the amount of snow you typically get. For example, if you routinely get a foot or two of snow in the winter, your roofer likely selected materials that can stand up to this. When you might need to worry is when you get far more snow than usual. For instance, if a blizzard blows in and brings 6 feet of snow at once, your roof may not be strong enough to support that much snow. 

If it is safe to do so, consider going outside and raking the snow off your roof with a long-handled rake or broom. If you can do this every few hours, you'll reduce the risk of your roof collapsing or cracking under the weight of the snow.

The snow is melting as it falls.

If it is below freezing outside but you notice that the snow on your roof is melting, that could be an issue. The melted snow will often re-freeze when it reaches the edges of your roof. If this happens enough over time, you'll get ice dams, which are big chunks of ice on the roof's edge. Ice dams can cause the shingles to lift, peel, and leak.

If you notice ice dams beginning to form, add more insulation to your attic. Also, contact a roofer and ask them to install some more vents in your attic. Snow melts and forms ice dams when your roof is too warm. Improving your insulation and ventilation will help keep the roof cooler so the snow doesn't melt until outside temperatures rise. 

Most roofs, especially those in northern climates, are designed to withstand average snowy conditions. However, if you get an extreme amount of snow or notice that ice dams are forming, you should take action. In these situations, snow could prove a danger to your roof.

For help with protecting your roof, contact a roofing service in your area.