Snow, those of us who live in the North have a love/hate relationship with the white stuff. When we get dumped on with a storm, most of us either hibernate or get excited about reaching for the skis. Often, you’ll hear your friends and neighbours moan and groan about having to shovel the walkway and stairs, the driveway, and the driveway again. With all this attention paid to clearing away the snow to protect those walking and the vehicles parking on our properties, we often forget to look up. Removing accumulated snow from the roofs of your home and outbuildings is an excellent way to protect the property from damage and yourself from injury.
The minimum snow load that a roof should be able to handle is 21 pounds per square foot. (That’s about 2 to 2.5 feet of packed snow)! As your home and roof age, the risk of damage to your home increases. Watch for signs of impending collapse:
- Sagging ceilings
- Visible cracks in ceilings and interior walls
- Unusual cracking or popping sounds
- Warped or bent utility pipes
- Doorways that won’t close or are hard to open
You can help avoid these symptoms by always performing regular maintenance on your roof, keeping drains, gutter and downspouts clear of snow and being diligent with removing excess snow from the roof itself. If the roof is not easily accessible due to steep grade or height, hire insured professionals to help you keep the surface as clear as possible of dangerous weight and ice. This is not only for safety reasons but the professionals know how to properly remove the snow without damaging your roof or shingles.