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The Dangers of Abundant Snow Accumulation on Your Roof

roofs covered with thick snow layer

The snow blanket is a picturesque winter wonderland in the initial days of the winter months. But with time, snow accumulation on the roof poses a severe threat. The problem is worse if you live in areas where the weather gets extreme, such as Minnesota, as it threatens the structural integrity of your home. 

When snow accumulates on your roof, it stresses the roof structure and can lead to collapsing, leaking, and the formation of ice dams. Not only can this cause significant damage to your home, but it can also put your family at risk. 

This post will explore the dangers of snow accumulation on your roof, share tips to remove it safely, and provide additional information on the consequences of neglecting to remove snow.

Dangers of Snow Accumulation

By understanding the risks and taking action to remove snow, you can protect your home and stay safe during the winter months. Here are some of the dangers of snow accumulation:

Added Stress on the Roof Structure

As snow accumulates, it adds weight to the roof, causing it to sag or collapse under pressure. The problem is particularly concerning if your home is old or has a weak or damaged roof. The added weight can also stress the walls and foundation of the house, causing structural damage.

Formation of Ice Dams

As temperatures fluctuate during winter, ice melts on the roof and freezes at the roof’s edge, forming ice dams. When ice dams form, the water can back up under the shingles and into the house, leading to leaks and water damage. The ice dams can also cause gutters and downspouts to become clogged, leading to further water damage.

Roof Leakage and Other Forms of Water Damage

When the snow melts on your roof, the water seeps into the roof through any cracks or openings. If you have yet to insulate or ventilate your roof properly, water damage the insulation and other parts of the roof. This can lead to leaks and water damage in the attic, walls, ceilings, electrical systems, and other house parts.

Tips for Safely Removing Snow from Your Roof

Workers shovelling manually the roof of the building

You must remove the snow to avoid the above dangers of snow accumulation on the roof. However, exercise can be dangerous; hence important to do it cautiously. Consider these safe snow removal tips if you wish to beat the winter blues.

Hire a Professional

If you have a steep roof or the snow depth is too deep, it is best to hire a professional roofing contractor to remove the snow. Professionals have the proper equipment and experience to safely remove snow from the roof.

Use a Roof Rake

A roof rake allows you to remove snow from the roof from the ground safely. Using a rake with a long handle is important to keep you safe from the roof’s edge.

Remove Snow in Stages

If you decide to remove the snow, start by removing a small amount at a time and work your way up. This will help prevent the weight of the snow from causing the roof to collapse.

Use the Right Equipment

When removing snow from your roof, use a sturdy and long ladder to help you reach the roof. Also, ensure it’s on level ground and secure to avoid falling. Wear slip-resistant shoes or boots and gloves to protect your hands from the cold.

Be Aware of Power Lines

If your house is near power lines, be aware of them and the potential danger of coming into contact with them.

Be Aware of the Weather

Never remove snow from the roof in windy or icy conditions. Check the snowfall forecast to be aware of any impending snowstorms or freezing rain that may occur after the snow removal, as it could create a new layer of ice and snow.

Have a Plan

Have a plan in case of an emergency, such as a fall or roof collapse. Inform someone of what you’re doing and ensure you can call for help. 

Consequences of Neglecting Snow Accumulations on Your Roof

The roof collapsed under the weight of snow. Damaged falling roof full of Snow Accumulation on Your Roof

Neglecting to remove snow accumulations on your roof can significantly damage your home and put your family at risk. You can avoid these risks by proactively removing snow from your roof. 

It would be best if you planned for regular roof inspections to identify issues before they become major problems. Failure to do this can lead to serious consequences, including

  • Increased risk of accidents such as falls if you try to remove the snow on your own
  • Clogged gutters and downspouts as a result of ice and snow accumulation. If the water backs up, it damages your house’s roof, walls, and foundation. 
  • Formation of ice dams, causing water to back up under the shingles and into the house, leading to leaks and water damage.
  • As the snow melts and turns into water, it leaks, causing damage to the insulation and other parts of the roof. The leaks can also cause water damage in the attic, walls, and ceilings.

Keep Your Family Safe

Snow accumulation on a roof can pose a serious threat to the structural integrity of your home. It can cause stress on the roof structure, collapses, leaks, and ice dams, which can significantly damage your home, putting your family at risk. It is important to take proactive measures to remove snow from your roof and to have regular roof inspections to identify any issues before they become major problems.

But even as you take safety measures to protect your family during winter, it’s advisable to cover them with reliable insurance. Lake Region Insurance Agency protects your family from potential risks, including the danger of snow accumulation. Contact us today if you wish to keep your family safe.

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