Snow Damage Prevention

Start  By Being Proactive

Most people love the idea of a white Christmas. But, most of us don’t want to deal with some of the down sides of all that snow. Wintertime in cooler, wetter climates, like the Pacific Northwest, presents a unique set of issues in the home that are not apparent during the summer. You can prevent some winter related issues by first inspecting and repairing both interior and exterior areas of their homes to minimize damage. But, there are other proactive steps you can do throughout the year to prevent issues from arising.

You know that proper home maintenance is essential to having a warm, comfortable home. But what steps do you need to take to prevent ice and snow damage, exactly? These tips will help you prevent snow damage and costly repairs. And if the time comes to file a claim on your insurance, these steps will strengthen your case.

One step you can take almost any time of year is adding insulation to your attic and it is simple and effective. Heat escaping through your roof due to poor insulation will cause the snow to melt and run off. This might not be a bad thing until the water refreezes under your shingles. The lower portion of most roofs are not over a ‘heated’ space. As the melted water gets to the roof edge and overhangs it can freeze. Melting snow can get trapped and work its way under these ice dams, getting under shingles and into the decking. These ice dams can prevent proper drainage when the weather warms up if they block the proper drainage into your gutters. This can lead to damaged gutters, water getting behind the gutters, and pooling at the foundation. which means further repairs to your roof, soffits, eaves and siding.  Adding insulation helps prevent ice dams while decreasing heating costs. While you are in the attic adding insulation, you can make sure you have proper ventilation. A well ventilated attic will help prevent ice dams and the resulting damage. 

Preventative steps outside your home may include:

  • Clean your gutters. Clean gutters mean water can flow off your roof and away from your home’s foundation. If they are full of debris, snow can accumulate quicker and ice dams build up faster. Gutter guards provide three aspects of ice dam protection that would otherwise not exist.  Gutter guards help gutters to remain clog-free allowing the melting ice and snow to escape. They also strengthen and protect the gutter system and downspouts from breaking off the fascia from too much weight or frozen clogs and they provide the optimal situation for installation of heat cables
  • Prune your trees. Tree limbs can and do break under the weight of snow and ice. Branches hanging over a roof can cause significant damage if they break. With roofs being dangerous to work on in winter, repairs will need to wait, allowing things to get worse. 
  • Correct drainage. Direct downspouts away from the house. When snow melts, the water is less likely to collect around the foundation if the water is directed away from the house
  • Inspect the walls and foundation. Repair and seal any cracks or holes. This will prevent warm air leaking out as well as prevent any pests from entering your home.
  • Monitor snowfall. Some storms drop huge quantities of fluffy snow on your roof. Other storms drop heavy, wet snow.. Average snow (not wet or fluffy) weighs 15 pounds per cubic foot. If your roof accumulates 3 or 4 feet of snow, the snow may be heavy enough to cause your roof to sag, shift door frames, or crack structural components. Use a snow rake to clear the snow off your roof or call in Guardian Roofing. We have the right training and equipment to do the job safely and effectively.
  • Insulate pipes. Cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and burst. Disconnect outdoor hoses, drain outdoor faucets, and insulate them with protective covers. Wrap pipes with foam pipe insulation and locate the main water shut-off valve in case of an emergency. 
  • Shovel snow.  Moving the snow away from the house and its foundation can prevent water pooling and refreezing. Snow often drifts into window wells and doorways and against your home. Shoveling and brushing away the snow from your home can prevent damage to your weather striping and siding. 
  • Clear exhaust and intake vents. Snow drifts can clog exhaust and fresh air intake vents, impede appliance operation, or allow unhealthy fumes to accumulate in your home..
  • Secure your pool or hot tub. Any outdoor water feature, like ponds, swimming pools and hot tubs, require attention when it gets cold. The weight of ice and snow can damage the cover and sometimes the pool. Properly winterizing or removing snow from the cover and drain of outdoor water features can prevent damage.
  • Clear traffic areas quickly. Removing snow and ice from walkways and driveways can prevent property damage and injuries. Don’t wait until the snow stops. A thick or heavy layer of snow is much more difficult to remove than thinner layers. Not only can you slip on icy walkways, you can injure your back trying to lift a heavy shovel full of snow. 
  • Shake trees and shrubs. You have spent time and money on maintaining your outdoor trees and shrubs.  Take care of them by shaking snow loose and preventing them from breaking from the weight of the snow.  Larger trees that overhang your roof may require a professional arborist to prevent breaking limbs. 
  • Roof integrity. Your roof can have a long, useful lifespan if it is properly maintained. Annual roof maintenance and inspections after storms are vital, and the roofing manufacturer may not honor your warranty without them.
  • Keep records. Keep records of the work done and any receipts involved. It will help you if you need to make a claim with your insurance company for roof repairs. It will demonstrate that you  are a conscientious homeowner and have maintained your roof properly.

What should you do if snow does accumulate on your roof?

You can use a roof rake to remove as much snow as possible, but be careful. Falling snow is heavy! Roof rakes are designed to prevent damage to the roof surface; however, improper use can still create problems. Remain on the ground and protect yourself from the snow (and ice) being removed if you use a roof rake. Our best advice is still to call the team at Guardian Home. We’ll take care of your roof as if it is our own.

After the snow has cleared.

If you haven’t had your roof inspected regularly, you notice your gutters not draining, or see what may be damaged, get your roof inspected as soon as possible. Repair any issues before the next snowfall. Routine maintenance and care is still the best way to protect your roof and protect your investment.

Schedule a FREE Roof Inspection 

Inspecting your roof is best left to the Team at Guardian Home. Obvious safety issues aside, the trained eye of a roof inspector can catch damage that home owners may miss. If your roof is due for maintenance or an inspection contact the team at Guardian Home, we are the original Make Your Roof Last Roofing Company

  • The gutter dome product is a life saver when it comes to snow;
  • Without gutter dome, the entire gutter fills up with snow
  • That snow then freezes quickly with the low temperature of the gutter metal
  • In addition snow continues to pile up
    • The weight adds up to the point that the gutter pulls away from the house
    • Many times being torn off completely
  • With Gutter dome, no snow gets into the gutter
    • This means a fraction of the weight
    • As the snow melts water will run into the gutter
    • As a result the massive amount of weight never happens and the gutter remains in tact.

Guardian Roofing recommends that your roof be inspected at least once a year. Doing this, and investing in a regular maintenance program, can prolong the life of your roof, give you the peace of mind, and prevent damage to your home.

When your home is ready for a new roof, repairs, or maintenance, you need a reliable, dependable roof repair company. You count on you roofing contractor to keep your home safe and dry. Guardian Roofing is committed to providing top-quality service, professionalism and workmanship.

If you are looking for a roof repair contractor please call us today at 877-926-9966 or complete our online service request form »