While it’s pretty, too much snow can have a severe impact on property structures and even bank accounts. One bad snowstorm can be enough to bury your car and make you late for work. Sometimes property owners are snowed in and may not even be able to leave!
But once you do dig yourself out, you can’t help but notice the giant mounds of snow on the roof that are already starting to come down. These situations can be extremely dangerous as the snow can crush anyone within its path as it slides off the roof.
To prevent the risk of serious injuries, the snow must come off the roof as soon as possible. But while protecting your family is most important, there is another risk that threatens your property as long as all that frozen water sits up there: melting snow and ice.
Here’s how snow and water damage go hand in hand and how it can cause problems for your home:
Effects of Snow Damage
While many roofs are strong, they can only withstand so much weight. In some states like Colorado, many homes are built with a snow-load, or trusses in the roof that can hold extra weight, depending on what is determined by the county. For homeowners outside of Colorado, be sure to have your roof inspected at least once each year for signs of water and/or ice damage.
Just one foot of snow on the average rooftop can weigh as much as 18,000 pounds. Extreme weight will pressure it to collapse, creating permanent structural damage as well as water damage when the snow melts. By then you will notice leaks in your ceiling and/or attic.
Water Leaks Through Windows and Doors
When snow melts, the water will flow to areas of least resistance, or the cracks and crevices in the windows, flashing, doors, and other roof components.
Damage to Surrounding Property
When it starts to melt, snow will slide off the roof, sometimes in an avalanche if there’s enough of it, and crush anything below it. Sometimes this avalanche contains ice!
Effects of Ice Damage
If not more dangerous, ice is just as bad and damaging as snow. Without proper care, it can cause severe damage to your building materials. Check out the following effects of ice damage.
This is often the most common concern among property owners as it creates thousands of dollars in property damage. When the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 24 hours, the pipes will freeze unless they are left on a constant drip. While there is no harm to them freezing, the ice within will apply pressure to the insides of the pipe, pressuring it to burst as it weakens. If it does burst, the area will quickly become flooded, requiring immediate water extraction.
Not many people are aware that ice dams can crawl uphill, but they will often form within your gutter as it collects water, eventually freezing it. As it expands along the roof of your home, it will run beneath the shingles or down the face of your gutters and freeze to form icicles. Any water damage beneath the roof will contribute to a roof leak and eventually mold if it’s not dried out quickly.
Icicles are pretty but also dangerous. As they grow, they add more weight to your gutters and also pose a threat to you and your family if they fall.
There are a number of threats posed to the safety of your family and building structure with snow on the roof, especially when it’s melting, but this isn’t the only area of concern. Even snow on the ground can create an issue as it seeps into the ground next to the home’s foundation. This usually occurs during late winter and early spring which is why flooding is so common.
The process of melting snow can sink into a slab foundation, penetrating basement walls and pooling into the basement floor. It only takes 24 hours before musty smells and mold growth to develop.
Professional Snow Removal
The biggest threat to safety with snow on the roof is the risk of it crushing someone when it falls. But as soon as temperatures rise just above freezing, any snow that doesn’t slide off the roof will melt into the shingles, causing leaks and even mold growth.
Water Damage Restoration
As soon as you find any amount of snow on your roof, the best step would be to remove it yourself if possible, but a professional snow removal services is recommended for 2 story homes. This would save lots of money while preventing significant water damage to your property structure when it melts.
In the case that it already melted and you have leaks in your roof or water damage in others areas of your home, don’t hesitate to call for emergency water damage restoration services. Any amount of water damage must be addressed right away to prevent it from spreading and creating worse issues like mold growth.
ServiceMaster Kwik Restore is available 24/7 in Cary, IL and the surrounding areas to provide professional water damage restoration services. Our technicians will respond immediately to your first call as we understand the severity of the situation. Upon our arrival, we will set up professional drying equipment, including dehumidifiers and air movers. All hard surfaces will then be disinfected using anti-microbials and cleaning products to prevent mold. We can also provide mold removal services if needed to ensure your property is fully restored to its original condition.