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New Home Tips: Winter Roof Maintenance of Your New Home

Tips for Handling Snow Accumulation

We have recently experienced some heavy snowfalls in our area, which over the last few years has not happened often. Snow accumulation on the roof does put a strain on the roof system and in some older homes in the area a few have collapsed. New homes are usually built with truss roofs, which are designed to handle a certain snow load. It is a good idea, especially on older homes, to shovel off extremely large concentrations of snow to prevent the possibility of collapsing. I realize it is easier said than done especially for older people. The elderly should seek the help of a relative or a handyman.

Snow build up around the perimeter of a house is also not a good thing. When a thaw occurs, or if it happens to rain on the snow, it forces the water to go in areas that it normally doesn't. This can cause leaks especially in the basement and most often around basement windows. These areas especially should be kept clean of snow so that any water coming near can drain away properly.

Snow laying on a roof can also cause problems in other ways. Freezing and thawing of the snow can occur causing ice build-ups. This ice sometimes causes water flowing down the roof to damn up and then back up under the shingles into the attic. This can cause damage to ceilings. Areas that are susceptible to this are usually on the south side of the home and the thawing caused by the effects of the sun. These roof areas should be kept relatively clear of snow to prevent potential problems.