A snowy roof may look charming, but it also puts many things into perspective: the amount of snowfall, the quality of roof insulation, the pitch of the roof, etc. As most Peabody, MA roofing contractors would tell you, however, you’ve got a disaster waiting to happen the longer snow stays on your roof.
Based on the 2003 International Building Code (IBC), roofs in Massachusetts must be able to support 25 to 60 pounds of snow per square foot. The snow load for Peabody roofs is relatively median, at 45 psf. In other words, a 2,000-square-foot roof in Peabody can support up to roughly 90,000 lbs of snow. With 5.2 lbs of water per square foot, the roof can hold more than eight inches of wet snow. Here’s the deal. Nobody has the time to crunch the numbers based on observations. Quite simply, the snow on your roof has got to go. Beyond that, you need to worry about things like: Snow-Heavy Branches Consider yourself lucky if your roof is out of reach of overhanging trees. At best, those tree branches may only scratch your shingles; in worst-case scenarios, a heavy tree branch may crash through the roof and leave a gaping hole. Tree blight can increase such a risk, as it doesn’t take much for a sickly tree branch to break off and fall, as Adam Verwymeren reports on Fox News: As winter winds blow and heavy snow weighs down branches, you could be left with a felled limb that can damage your roof or come crashing in through the window. Before the snow starts to fall this year, make sure to trim back any overgrown branches, especially those near the house. Ice Dams As mentioned earlier, a snowy roof can tell a lot about the state of its insulation, particularly when ice dams are evident. Just when the snow finally melts, the runoff refreezes the moment it gets to the eaves due to the presence of ice dams. Such a common winter roofing concern often calls for the installation of ice and water shields to protect the entire roofing system. Ice dams occur when poorly insulated attics melt the snow on top of the roof, causing it to flow down and refreeze along your eaves. Over time the ice can back up under the shingles at the edge of the roof, soaking your ceiling, which, in turn, can create rot and mold growth. Your roof faces more threats during winter than the sheer weight of snow. A reputable Peabody roofing contractor like A&A Services can prep your roof before the first snowflake falls. (Article image and info from “5 household dangers to clear up before winter,” Fox News, October 23, 2013)