By Scott McClurg
Winter 2011 has caused considerable damage to roofs of Central New York homes. It seems like we’ve had snow on the roof continually since the first of December. Weather conditions in our region have been particularly harsh due to unprecedented lake effect snowfall and cold Canadian weather systems which have caused freezing on roofs and don’t allow for melts that we normally experience. Roofs are not designed to hold up to several tons of weight. On roofs that have collapsed, snow build up has been 2 to 3 feet thick.
What can you do to protect your home? First and foremost, it is important that you maintain your roof and remove snow. According to a colleague in the roof repair business in Minnesota:
“As little as six inches of snow packed on your roof could cause major damage to your home—and your wallet. Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) research shows about $1 of every $5 paid for home and business property losses in recent years has stemmed from damage due to freezing weather, snow and water leaks. Fresh snow is two to four times lighter than old snow, so your roof could hold up to four feet of fresh snow safely. But new snow on top of old snow can multiply the risk of collapse. Ice mixed with snow is extremely heavy—just one inch of ice can weigh as much as 12 inches of fresh snow.”
Do not let snow on your roof build up beyond 12 inches. Here are some tips for properly maintaining your roof in winter: