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How Much Snow Can Your Roof Withstand?

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How Much Snow Can Your Roof Withstand?

(Photo : http://www.dominionroofing.com/markham/)

Nobody is used to the Canadian winters, not even Canadians themselves. Our winters are occasionally mild, but you can expect very cold weather most of the time. One day it's a mean blizzard, and the next day you can experience some rain or a heavy snowfall. 

Toronto is experiencing some of the worst storms on record. Crazy weather gives homeowners sleepless nights as they lay in their rooms, praying their roof doesn't cave in.

Winter roof collapse is a genuine threat. A few years back, 44 roofs in Boston were severely damaged during a storm. That's a mere 500 miles away from Toronto, which is far too close for comfort.

So, if you're feeling a little nervous about the sky falling on your head, then read on to learn about our industry expert's tips for keeping your roof intact next winter.

Clear Excess Snow From Your Roof 

As soon as conditions are favorable, head outside and do an inspection on the snow build-up. As a guide, excess snow can be classified as:

  • Four feet of freshly fallen snow
  • Two feet of compact snow
  • Four inches of ice

Another tip is to look out for deformed ceilings or windows, and doors that are suddenly difficult to open or close.

If the snow is in excess and begins to look like it can cause potential harm, then it's best you use a periscope roof-rake to remove the snow. Don't climb on top of your house, and use neither a shovel, nor pick-ax to do the job. Chances are you'll dig too deep and damage the shingles, nevermind the risk to your personal safety if you slip and fall.


Inspect For Ice Dams

Icicles are a telltale sign of ice dams on your roof and pose a serious threat. Ice dams form when a ridge of ice gathers at the edge of roofs, which prevents melting snow from draining. As a result, the water backs up, leaks through gaps in the roofing material and ultimately drips onto your ceiling. Plus, the extra weight of the ice could cause your roof to collapse.

This isn't to say you should be worried when you see ice dams as the ice does melt away on its own. However, check to see that the load isn't too heavy in order to avoid any lasting damage. 

We don't advise tackling ice dams on your own - Click here now for professional roofing contractors that are guaranteed to get the job done.

Preventative Maintenance

I would say it's important to examine your roof before winter arrives. An older decaying roof is far more susceptible to a collapse, and it's best to have them assessed by a professional before the situation becomes dangerous.

But if you're either woken by a strange creaking noise in the middle of the night, or the bathroom door no longer closes, then best you act fast and vacate the premises before the sky comes down on your head.

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