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Grand Rapids Roofing: Article About Best Roof Styles For Snow

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In the cold, snowy areas of the country, it is essential to have the right style of roof as well as the right roofing material in order to fully protect a home from the elements. For new builds, homeowners may have a variety of roofing options to choose from, but keep in mind that the more complex the layout, the more complex the roof is likely to be. For the best protection from snow, the roofline should be fairly simple. However, if a complex layout is desired there are some choices homeowners can make that can help protect their home. Talking with a certified Grand Rapids roofing professional can help property owners determine the best product for their design aesthetic and their budget.

As noted, simpler style roofs are better in areas where large accumulations of snow are likely. A simple design minimizes the use of dormers, crickets and valleys where snow may accumulate and cause damage to the roof or pose risk to those walking below by sliding off at inopportune times. However, if a dormered, gabled, steep and/or multileveled roof figures into the dream home, there are some things the roofer can do that will help make the roof both safe and beautiful.

For all snowy area roofs, the builder should make sure that the eaves have enough of an overhang to protect the walls, windows and doors. For roof slopes lower than 4/12, metal is a great choice for the roofing material.

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Snow will tend to drop off of the roof rather than accumulate in large quantities and slide off all at once. Also, metal generally protects well against ice dam formation as well.

For pitches between 4/12 and 6/12, rough textured roofing products work well. Cedar shake, textured or dimensional shingles or other coarse surfaces will keep the snow from sliding off in large slabs that may injure people walking or standing underneath. For slopes greater than 6/12, snow is likely to accumulate and slide off regardless of the material used, so those slopes should be limited to where people will not likely be passing by. Keeping steeper slopes on the south side of the roof will expose them to more sunlight which may help snow melt faster.

Ensuring that the roof has the proper ventilation and insulation can also keep snow accumulation to a good depth. It seems contraindicated to leave snow sitting on a roof, but in fact, some snow build up helps to insulate the home and can protect it from the sun's damaging rays. Using heat tape in areas where large accumulations are likely can also keep the property, and the people living there, safe and free from damage.

A certified roofing contractor will be happy to talk over the available options so that the home meets the aesthetic expectations while remaining safe.

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