How a Snowfall Can Affect Your Roof
Think of how heavy wet snow is when you are shoveling your driveway. That weight is multiplied when sitting on your roof. Snow load is the downward force snow places on a building. This force can be far more impactful than you might imagine. Although homes in Ottawa are designed to withstand the weight of snow it is not uncommon for homeowners to use rooftop snow removal services following heavy snowfalls.
The weight of snow becomes particularly heavy when allowed to accumulate to levels higher than 70 cm. This weight can actually put so much pressure on the structure of your home it can lead to collapse. Rooftop snow removal is the only way to lessen the danger of collapse and structural damage when snow reaches depths over 70 cm. If you are fit and feeling up to it you can invest in a snow rake designed to remove snow from rooftops. However you have to be careful not to damage shingles with the rake.
Type of Snowfall
You also have to consider the type of snowfall and density of the snow. A new snowfall of light powdery snow is not as dangerous or as heavy. However if there are multiple snow falls the snow becomes more and more compressed adding more weight. Even if a single snowfall does not reach 70 cm, multiple snowfalls will continue to increase the pressure and snow load on your roof.
Ice dams form when the heat of your home melts the snow closest to the roof. The water runs down the roof and freezes again when it hits the colder edges of the roof. When the ice forms it creates an ice dam. Ice dams force water back up the roof which makes it easy to seep under shingles. This seepage can build up and reach the ceiling and walls in your home. It can also cause damage to the structure of your roof.
Snow can have many negative effects on your roof. Rooftop snow removal is always advised when snow buildup approaches the 70 cm mark.