snow removal ottawa

How Snow Can Have an Impact on Your Roof

Your home is under a lot of strain during the winter months. Heavy snow falls combined with an endless circle of thawing and freezing can all put tremendous pressure on your roof. Snow can have an impact not only on your roof, but the integrity of your entire home.

Withstanding Snow Loads

The weight of snow on your roof can put a great deal of stress on your home. Most homes in Ottawa have a good slope designed to manage the snow load of average snow falls in Ottawa. However that doesn’t mean your home is completely free of damage or pressure caused by heavy snow falls. The condition of your roof and rafters have to be factored in when considering how your roof will withstand the load. From termites to wood rot the rafters might not be providing as much support as they once did.

Considerations for Snow Removal

There are four considerations when deciding whether or not you should remove the snow from your roof:

1. Frequency of snowfall: Areas prone to constant snow falls require snow removal.
2. Slope of your roof: The steeper the pitch of your roof, the better support there is for the snow.
3. Expected thaw: Thaws lead to ice build-up beneath the snow which is very bad for your roof.
4. Ice dams: Ice dams are caused when the snow closest to your roof begins to melt. This is due to the insulating effect of the snow above and the warmth of your home below. As the snow melts the resulting run off will refreeze once it hits the cold edge of the roof. This will cause a back-up that forces water to leak into the roof when it has nowhere else to go.

Type of Snow

Last but not least you have to consider the type of snow that is falling. Wet snow actually weighs far more than powder snow. Just six inches of wet snow weighs the same as 38 inches of powder snow. That means that when you have six inches of wet snow on your roof it is a good idea to clear away that excessive weight.

It is in your best interest to remove snow from your roof to avoid potential issues that might occur from the weight of the load. Keep in mind snow removal is dangerous and is best left to a snow removal service.