3 Things To Remember About Snow Loads When Replacing Your Roof

This winter saw the destruction of many roofs on homes, barns and businesses. Older roofs just weren't designed to stand up to heavy snow loads, like the ones recently dumped from the skies across the eastern part of North America.

If you're replacing a roof to ensure you've got good snow support, bear these 3 things in mind:

1) Every dollar you spend now will ultimately save you money.

This is one area of your home improvement budget you should not mind exceeding. Getting the strongest, most insulated, most watertight roof today will save you a lot of money and aggravation down the road.

  • You'll save money on heating and cooling bills.
  • You'll save money on mold repairs.
  • You don't have the cost or hazard of clearing snow from the roof.
  • You don't risk human or property damage from ice dams or leaks.
  • You don't risk a secondary gas explosion from a collapsed structure.

The inconvenience of having to move out, plus the expense and insurance paperwork involved in having repairs done, far outweigh the cost of an adequate roof installation today.

2) There are many snow-load options when ordering a new roof.

You have several ways of approaching the snow problem where you live. The first thing you need to do is consult your roofing professional to find out the required snow loads for roofs in your area. But remember that ice or snowfall records may be set in any given year, so try to exceed the recommended loads if you can.

One way to keep snow from forming is to use a smooth material, like metal, for roofing cover. Snow and ice will slide off more easily than from asphalt shingles. You can also make the pitch of the roof steeper, which will also help snow and ice slide off faster.

Creating a vapor and heat barrier by nailing rigid foam insulation under the shingles but over the roof's sheathing is another option. This approach will keep your attic space warm while protecting the roof from water damage.

There are also electric heating pads and cables that will defrost sections of your roof.

3) If your area is getting hammered by snow, rethink skylights.

Skylights are a wonderful solution to a dark room. If you live in an area that has a risk of excessive snowfall, you may want to rethink the skylight's charms, however.

Several people have been injured and even killed falling through skylights while trying to clear roofs. The skylights have collapsed in other instances just from the weight of record-breaking snows.

If you must have a skylight, be sure to get the one rated for the most wind, rain, hail and snow loads. Have a tall flag or marker alerting anyone on the roof to the skylight's presence in case snow or debris is covering it.

For more information about keeping your roof safe, contact a company like Sunik Roofing.