Know the Snow Load
A typical roof should be able to handle a snow load of around 21 pounds per square foot. However, this number can vary, especially if the roof is poorly maintained, was already leaking, the timbers or supports are compromised, the home is being renovated, etc. Contact a professional snow removal company to deal with excess snow on the roof. The cold and slippery surface is dangerous to handle on ones’ own.
Remove Ice Damming
Icicles are beautiful… but also a sign of ice damming. This occurs when snow melt runs to the unheated edge of a roof, then refreezes. This ice can back up beneath shingles and cause damage to the roofing components. When large icicles break away and fall, they can injure people or pets. Have a professional remove icicles and ice dams before the buildup causes problems.
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Before the snow flies, ensure any loose or missing shingles are fixed and holes are patched. Make sure the gutters are clear so on warmer days, the runoff does not collect and cause ice dams. Remember that holes in the roof don’t just affect the roofing assembly. You could wind up with moisture in the walls and that will affect the entire building envelope.
Where to Find the Professionals?
The Alberta Roofing Contractors Association (ARCA) has a directory of professionals. Contact one today to get your roof ready for winter and any time you have a buildup of snow or ice. It is dangerous to try and clear the roof on one’s own during the winter months. The professionals with ARCA affiliation have experience, are licensed and bonded, and have the safety equipment necessary to get the job done.
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