All year long, the roof covering your Golden Valley home is burdened with heavy responsibilities, figuratively and quite literally. Your roof prevents unwanted pests and critters from entering your home. A roof also keeps out nature’s seasonal elements of hot and humid summers, rainy spring and fall seasons, and the bitter cold of long winter seasons.
The winter season brings with it two particularly heavy burdens in the form of snow and ice. How heavy? Consider that the weight of six inches of snow covering a 2,000 square foot roof would be approximately 20,000 pounds. What’s more, this example doesn’t consider the weight of ice on the roof, which is about five times heavier than the snow of the same volume.
When you consider the amounts of snow and ice that fall upon the Twin Cities Metro area each year, you may run into damage issues with your roofing system and home if your roof isn’t well maintained. Here’s what to know about the damage heavy snow and ice can cause to your home, and how you can prevent these problems.
Fresh snow and icicles hanging from the gutters and eaves may look beautiful to the eye, but they can sure take a toll on your roofing system and home. Prolonged periods of snow and ice on the roof slowly weaken the system. Further, the repeated melting and freezing of snow and ice eventually allow moisture to seep into the roofing system. As the water melts and refreezes during changes in daylight and temperature, shingles take a beating.
The gutters of your roofing system are particularly susceptible to damage caused by heavy ice and snow. Ice dams are very common formations of the eaves and gutters or roofs. Ice dams form when the heat inside a home’s attic melts the snow and ice on the roof. The water flows down the roof toward the gutters. However, when the water reaches the eaves and gutters, the water freezes because the eaves aren’t receiving heat from the attic. The more water that melts and flows down to refreeze, the larger these ice dams become. The weight of ice dams can tear gutters away from the fascia and can cause gutters to break apart.
As ice dams form around the eaves of your home, the ice can penetrate roofing materials and force water into the attic and exterior walls. Moisture can become trapped underneath ice dams and make its way inside the attic. Once that happens, then the attic can develop a mold and mildew problems. Mold and mildew can damage timber, damage insulation, and promote unhealthy indoor air quality. Moisture also causes timber to rot prematurely, which is a serious problem.
EXTERIOR WALLS DAMAGE
The possibility of water penetration into exterior walls from the attic and from wicking increases if heavy snow and ice dams go unchecked. Just like problems in the attic that water can cause, water can damage timber and insulation inside exterior walls. This may cause the proliferation of mold and mildew, which is a very difficult problem to mitigate.
WHAT TO DO
It’s important to get your roof inspected every few years and after each hail storm and extreme wind-driven storm. Spotting roof leaks and damaged roofing materials early will save you money and help your roof last longer. If your home is prone to ice dams, consider air sealing your attic and adding insulation. In addition to helping to prevent damage heavy snow and ice can cause, air sealing and insulation also make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable.
When you need roof inspections, roof repair, or a roof replacement for your Twin Cities Metro area home, call the pros at Younger Exteriors at (612) 360-0320. Or, contact us online using our simple online form. We proudly guarantee all of our roof replacements with our 10-YEAR CRAFTSMANSHIP GUARANTEE!