Ice Dam Removal

Perhaps the most significant reason for removing snow and ice from roofs is to prevent ice dams from developing. Ice dams are the ice ridges that form along the edges of roofs. They’re problematic because they stop snow from falling off the roof, and snow builds up and melts from heat coming out of the building. This water backs up and leaks down into a property, causing damage to walls, the ceiling, insulation, and floors.

Ice dams develop because the attic emits heat that melts snow on the roof, and this water runs to the cool edge of the roof and freezes. Dams as thin as 1 inch can cause significant problems, which is why it’s important to address them before they become large. Roof rakes remove ice dams, but avoiding pulling directly at the dam is important. You should try to remove as much snow as you can from behind the ice dam. This helps the ice dam shrink because snow is no longer there to feed it. Pulling directly at the ice dam can damage or pull off roofing shingles and damage the rake.

Moisture Damage

Snow and ice melt from the heat coming from a building’s attic, which leads to water running down the roof into the gutters. If this water freezes, it can clog the gutters, and fresh water coming down will have nowhere to go. The result is that this water ends up under roofing shingles, where it can cause leaks in a roof. Small leaks also get worse over time because water in the area freezes and expands the opening. In certain cases, gutters also collapse because they’re not designed to handle the weight of ice.

Roof Weight Capacity

Roofs can only handle so much weight, which is why you should try to keep them free of snow and ice. Learn how much weight your particular roof can take in order to determine how often to rake your roof. In general, you should avoid more than 20 pounds of weight per square foot of roof. A cubic foot of powdery snow weighs six to eight pounds, and the same amount of packed snow weighs nearly 20 pounds. Ice is the heaviest with a cubic foot of ice weighing up to 60 pounds.

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