Securing Your Roof For Winter Snow

Published on:

November 25, 2019


Damaging Snow and Ice

Freeze-thaw cycles that happen on roofs in Northern Colorado can be a detriment to both commercial and residential roofs.  In climates such as these where snow can fall heavily and melt quickly, it is important to make sure that your roof is free of damage and is structurally sound before it starts to snow.  Having clean gutters and downspouts can help to prevent damage once the ice starts forming.  Whether the roof in question is on a residential or commercial structure, keeping up on inspections before Winter rolls in is vital to the safety and longevity of your investment.  


Residential

In residential roofs, when the snow melts and the water runs down the roof it can potentially freeze again around the eves and gutters.  This formation is what is known as an ice dam and can be caused by uneven heating of the roof.   When the melted water runs down the roof and re-freezes, it has the potential to make its way into cracks and between shingles.  When this ice forms, it expands and can make cracks worse, force shingles apart, damage gutters, and result in a major leak.  It is important to know that your roof’s integrity has not been compromised by previous damage or neglect, as the weight of the snow on your home could become an issue if the snowfall is heavy and the roof is not sound.


Commercial

In commercial flat roofs, problems can arise from snow and ice in all kinds of ways.  Ice will deteriorate sealants, find its way into leaks and tears in the membrane of the roof, and form pools in indentations and depressions in the roof deck.  If an ice dam forms along the drainage system, the water can pool up and re-freeze, thus increasing the size of the ice dam and making the problem that much worse.  One consideration that can be overlooked is the weight of the accumulated snow on the roof deck.  You might think of snow as light and airy, but when it accumulates it adds up pretty quickly.  It is important to know your structure’s weight limit and have a plan in place to have the snow removed if it is a very large structure, such as a warehouse.  


Select Roofing Contractors offers inspections and maintenance repairs on residential and commercial roofs, so give us a call and let us know how we can help you keep your roof in its best condition!