There’s no argument: Minnesota gets a lot of snow. And while we’ve got snowplows to clear our roads, snowblowers our driveways, and brushes our windshields, there still isn’t a reliable, easily available tool for the average homeowner to take care of snow on their roof. But do they need to in the first place? Is everyone else neglectful for leaving their roofs alone throughout the season, or is there really no need to panic about our state’s huge snow load?
The answer: it’s complicated. Perfect Exteriors, your Monticello roofing company, is here with all the details on roofs and snow loads below.
State building codes exist for a reason: to keep communities safe. These codes differ across state lines, but they often require that buildings be designed to handle much harsher weather than they typically encounter. Given that it’s far from typical that Minnesota winters go easy on the snow, your roof—and your entire home—were designed with this in mind. This is why snow atop your roof is rarely an issue.
On top of this, certain roofing types, such as metal roofing, can actually reflect the sun’s rays and encourage surrounding snow to melt, further reducing the potential for issues. Many residential roofs’ natural slopes also help shed the stuff.
While the above section may come as a relief, rarely doesn’t mean never. There are indeed circumstances wherein the amount of snow atop your roof can prove dangerous.
When your roof has not been properly maintained, it cannot function to the standards it was designed to, and as a result it may begin to sag or buckle under particularly heavy weights. If you’ve had your roof regularly inspected by a roofing company and storm damage specialist when necessary, though, such an occurrence is extremely unlikely.
Excessive snow load can also become a problem if it’s feeding an ice dam; the more snow there is to melt, after all, the more water pools on your roof, and the larger an issue the ice dam becomes. It’s important to note, though, that the snow load doesn’t need to be excessive for an ice dam to be damaging.
A structure that’s been made by experienced roofers is made to stand strong against all sorts of winter hazards, but it’s still critical to know the signs of impending collapse to keep your family safe. If you hear loud snapping sounds, have major roof-related water damage, or begin to see cracks in the walls, get out of there and call residential roofing services ASAP!