Grand Rapids Roofing: Article About Preparing A Roof For Winter Storms
A hearty snowfall can add upwards of 20 pounds of weight per cubic foot to a roof. While there's nothing homeowners can do to stop Mother Nature, there are steps a homeowner can take with the help of a Grand Rapids roofing contractor to prepare their roof for winter.
Homeowners can start their winter weather preparations by scheduling a roof inspection in the fall. During an inspection, issues with gutters, roof structures and roof design can be identified and remedied.
Loose shingles, damaged fascia boards, rusty flashing and worn caulking around skylights increases susceptibility to leaks when winter snow melts. Regular roof maintenance throughout the year greatly reduces the risk of unexpected leaks following a robust snowfall.
Clogged gutters can lead to the buildup of water and ice when snow melts. Because water expands when frozen, ice can press into the roof or cause the gutter to separate from the home. The trapped runoff also adds weight to gutter fasteners and creates ice dams. A professional cleaning can reduce such risks.
Unless a homeowner has a pitched roof that's completely smooth and steep enough for snow to fall off, some snow is likely to accumulate before melting takes place.
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Roofs that are flat, slightly pitched or exposed to strong winds are especially susceptible to snow pileups. Roofing contractors can determine the appropriate snow depth for a homeowner's roof design so that a homeowner knows when too much snow has accumulated.
A roof rake or extension pole can be used by a homeowner to safely remove some snow from their roof. The idea is to remove enough snow to lighten the load, not to remove every flake. If a homeowner doesn't feel comfortable with this process, some roofers offer snow removal service.
Homeowners with older roofs need to pay more attention to deficiencies that can become serious problems with added weight from snow. The same is true for homeowners who have removed collar ties to provide extra headroom in attic bedrooms. Making changes like this to a roof can weaken supports over time. If rafters are cracked from previous strain, a roofer can determine how to safely add reinforcement to prevent collapse.
Grand Rapids homeowners can further reduce the risk of roof collapse by calling a roofing professional if they suspect that their roof has been compromised following a severe winter storm. If snow piles up on a regular basis without naturally falling off, homeowners may want to consider modifying the design of their roof at some point.