Keep Your Roof Strong and Sturdy This Winter With These Tips
Snow can be beautiful, but it can also cause a lot of unseen damage to your property. It’s important to stay vigilant throughout winter to prevent snow and ice buildup that could result in an expensive claim. That’s why we’re sharing some Loss Prevention Tips from Red River Mutual to help you keep your winter wonderland from turning into a spring disaster.
Brush Off Bad Weather
We mean that literally! Failing to clear heavy snow from your roof could cause structural weaknesses, leaks, and even buckled roofs. It’s important to clear your snow regularly. Here are a few tips to follow to make sure you clear the snow properly.
Call an expert. The combination of heights plus ice makes this one of the more dangerous maintenance tasks. Consider hiring professionals to do the job.
Use a buddy system. Keep someone around (and on solid ground) to call for help and administer first aid in case something goes wrong.
Don’t climb if you don’t have to. If you have a pitched roof, use a telescoping snow rake to remove snow (available at most hardware stores).
Do the edges last. If you need to climb up, start in the middle and work your way out.
Don’t overdo it. Try to shave the snow down to 2 or 3 inches on the roof instead of scraping the roof clean, which will risk damage to your shingles or other roof covering.
Steer clear of power lines. Metal tools and power lines don’t mix, so make sure to keep a tight hand on all your tools.
Wear protective equipment. Whatever method you use to clear your roof, make sure you take the recommended safety precautions.
For more information about heavy snow and how to clear it, check out the full Loss Prevention Tip.
Keep Your Icicles Strictly LED
Although the icicle effect is beautiful, real icicles can come with a destructive side effect – ice dams.
What are Ice Dams?
Ice dams are caused when portions of the roof reach temperatures above 0°C causing the snow to melt and run down until it hits a section that is lower than 0°C and freezes. Over time this ice build up forms a dam. Because the roof behind this ice dam is still warmer, water gets caught behind the dam and can seep into the shingles causing water damage.
Ice Dam Prevention
Removing snow regularly, following the tips above, can help prevent ice dams from forming, but the better solution is to find and fix the root cause – probably warmth coming from your roof.
Here are some things to check for and steps to take to fix the problem:
- Increase your roof insulation and make sure it is distributed evenly and extends all the way to the perimeter.
- Seal any potential spots for air leakage through the ceiling.
- Adjust your ventilation to draw in cold outdoor air and flush out warmer attic air.
For information about the causes and prevention of ice dams, check out the full Loss Prevention Tip.
Uncover a Strong Sturdy Roof Next Spring
A bit of work through the winter or ahead of time can help you avoid big claims and construction in the spring. While we don’t always associate winter with water damage, we hope these tips help you stay prepared. For more Loss Prevention Tips, check out our Loss Prevention Tips Archive.