A roof covered in snow is considered synonymous with Colorado Springs winters. However, excessive snow accumulation on your roof carries hidden dangers. While it takes a great deal of snow to compromise a roof, anyone from the Colorado Springs area – especially roofing contractors – can tell you we experience extreme amounts of snow with regularity. But when should you be worried, and what can you do about snow accumulation? At Elite Roofing, we know a thing or two about the effects of snow on Colorado Springs roofing systems. So today, we’re sharing some key points about how to deal with this hazard appropriately and keep your family safe.
Snow accumulation: A heavy subject
How much weight can your roof hold, and how much does snow weigh? Both questions can be difficult to answer. As a rule of thumb, most roofs can safely support up to 20 pounds per square foot of snow. However, this can change depending on the shape and slope of your roof. A Colorado Springs roofing expert should be able to estimate how much snow your roof can handle.
Figuring out the weight of snowfall can be even trickier. First, you need to find out if the snow on your roof is freshly fallen or old and packed down. The fresh, fluffy stuff is rather light, while packed snow tends to be heavier. Typically, wetter, packed snow weighs about twice as much as fresh snow; most roofs can safely hold four feet of fresh snow, but only two feet of older, packed snow. Ice is even more dangerous, as a mere inch of ice weighs about as much as a foot of snow.
What signs should I watch for?
Of course, it can be difficult to figure out the consistency and depth of the snow and ice accumulating on your roof. Thus, it’s important to watch for other signs that your roof may be overloaded and in danger of collapsing. Any degree of visible sagging is a major concern, as well as creaking or popping sounds. If your roof has newly sprung leaks, this is also a telltale sign that your roof is at risk. Finally, if doors and windows become harder to open – and especially if they’re sticking at the top or bottom – this is a sign that the frame of your house has too much weight resting on it.
What can homeowners do about excess snow?
Depending on your experience and comfort level, you may be able to safely remove the worst of the snow on your roof. It’s important to exercise extreme caution when doing this, however, as roofs are extremely treacherous in the winter. As a rule of thumb, avoid climbing on the roof, as you risk slipping and falling or even becoming the metaphorical straw that breaks the camel’s back. Extendable snow rakes are much more ideal than walking on your roof, and you can find these at most hardware stores.
Alternatively, many roofing contractors in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area offer some form of snow-clearing service, and they’ll have much better equipment, more experience, and better safety protocols. Further, there are preventative measures you can take to prevent or mitigate snow accumulation. Heating systems can be installed to melt away snow, while gutter screens and covers keep these crucial roofing elements clear so water always has somewhere to go.
Elite Roofing: Colorado Springs Roofing Contractors
As a locally owned and operated roofing company, our Elite Roofing team is very familiar with the havoc Colorado Springs winters can wreak on roofing systems in the area. Whether it’s high winds and storms, perilous ice dams, or snow accumulation threatening your roof, we’re here to help you deal with it all. Contact our team today to find out how we can help ensure your roof withstands the worst of Colorado’s winter weather.