As a homeowner, you may tend to think of your roof as being indestructible. Day after day, it does its job, keeping you warm and dry while the weather rages on outside. Unfortunately, your roof is not indestructible, and some of the more powerful elements can do serious damage over time. You need to understand what it is that can make your roof vulnerable, and what you can do to protect it effectively.
In this case, we are talking about ice and snow, and how they can affect your roof. As you might imagine, the presence of snow and ice can have quite a damaging effect over time, especially if you live here in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic, where these conditions can be quite common during the winter months. So, what can ice and snow do to your roof? Let’s take a look.
These should be a point of concern for anyone living in a cold weather environment. An ice dam is a buildup of ice at the edge of your roof. When your gutters and downspouts fill up with ice – or a combination of ice and debris – you may not have anywhere for thawing snow to drain when temperatures start to rise. The snow is likely to melt faster than the ice, meaning water will be building up on your roof and it may not be able to escape. In the end, this water could work back up under the shingles, damaging in the inside of your home.
For most homeowners, the prudent course of action when an ice dam forms is to call in a professional for help. Unless you have the right combination of equipment and experience, getting up on a frozen roof is a recipe for disaster. A professional contractor will know how to handle this job safely, and will have the equipment to do so.
Regular Inspections in Warmer Weather
Keeping your roof healthy throughout the winter actually starts during the warmer months. If you can have your roof inspected for any signs of trouble while the weather is nice, basic repairs can be performed before the snow returns. You may not be able to see these problems when standing on the ground looking up at your roof, so calling a professional home roofing contractor to diagnose and potentially repair problems is worth your time and money.
Use a Roof Rake
As mentioned above, it is dangerous to get up on a frozen roof as an average homeowner. However, you can work to protect the condition of your roof in the winter by purchasing a roof rake. This is a product with an extremely long handle that allows you to clear some of the snow off of your roof while standing safely on the ground. Of course, even while doing this job, you need to take care to avoid falling snow, or icicles which may come off the gutters.
By being proactive about the health of your roof, you can be in a much better position to maintain the condition of your home over the long run. Prepare for winter well in advance, call in professional help when necessary, and always be careful when performing any kind of maintenance on your own.