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Does Snow on Flat Roof Cause Damage

With record low temperatures and significantly high amounts of snow fall, the weather continues to be a concern of homeowners. Many are burdened by the cost or time associated with snow removal along with the wear and tear their property is taking to withstand such weather extremes. Some homeowners wonder, “How much snow can a roof hold?” Those with flat roofs might be especially worried about the load their roof is bearing. When inches or feet of snow accumulated on a roof, only to partially melt and refreeze when the next phase of snow comes, how much snow a roof can hold is an understandable worry. Homeowners with flat roofs can take these steps to care for their property.

snow on pitched roof

First, homeowners should assess the situation. Accurately estimating how much snow a roof can hold is difficult because of the differences in moisture level, drifted areas and ice accumulation. Deciding if a roof is under too much stress is not done by simply measuring snow. If significant snowfall occurs without past snowfall melting away or only partially melting away, attention needs to be given to the roof. If homeowners notice sudden signs like doors sticking, cracks in the ceiling or walls, or leaks, the weight on the roof certainly needs to be addressed.

Next, homeowners can take action themselves or hire someone to fix the overloaded roof. One might notice the neighbors using a roof rake or employing professionals to remove the snow from their flat roof. Traditionally, these measures are taken to avoid snow and ice accumulation that can lead to the dreaded cracking, leaking and possible collapse or other damage to a roof. Experts warn that using a roof rake improperly can damage shingles, while shoveling one’s roof can lead to damage to the roof and danger for the homeowner. Many experts advise getting professional help from a reputable company who has insurance. The extra cost and work to maintain a traditional roof are not the only option, however, and can often lead to ongoing expenses.

Some homeowners are investing in a membrane roof that requires little maintenance to ensure their peace of mind and safety. A single-ply PVC membrane, for example, forms a protective barrier. The new technology of a membrane roof eliminates seams that can create ice dams and lead to ice expansion and damage. Homeowners need not worry, “How much snow can a roof hold?” with this advance in roofing technology. With a membrane roof, homeowners can trust that both the ice and snow of winter and the harmful rays of the summer’s sun does not compromise the home’s roof.

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