Prevent Ice and Snow Damage to Your Roof

The mountains of Southern California are notorious for tremendous snow storms. The Sierra Nevada Range in particular holds records for the largest snowfalls. The second greatest United States 24-hour snowfall record: 67 inches (5.6 ft.) January 4-5, 1982, fell on Echo Summit.  The old California record of 60 inches in 24 hours was recorded at Giant Forest in the southern Sierra Nevada in January 1933.

Ice and snow can cause plenty of damage to your roof. Here are some tips to help prevent ice and snow buildup from causing major problems.

Keep the Attic Cold
Your attic should be properly insulated to allow just enough heat to escape to allow snow to melt slowly and safely. Quick melt can form dangerous ice dams, clog gutters, damage roofs and cause dangerous icicles.

Don't Let Ice and Snow Build Up
Roofs are built to withstand a certain amount of weight, but if snow levels are too deep, it is not uncommon for a roof to collapse under the weight. Of course, homes in the mountains are built a little sturdier, but even there snow can build up and cause collapse. It's probably a good idea to clear you roof after every major storm. You really never want more than a foot of snow on the roof at one time. You can use a roof rake to clear off snow. The rakes are rust-proof, lightweight and have extension poles up to 20 feet long.

Clear the Gutters
It is not uncommon for ice to build up in the gutters. If too much ice builds up, the gutters become too heavy and can rip away, causing extensive and expensive damage to the property. You can chip the ice from gutters, but that is extremely dangerous and can easily cause damage. A roofing professional is recommended to ensure the gutters are cleared properly.

Ice Damage
Melting snow and ice can back up and sneak under the shingles, allowing water to seep into the cracks in the roof - one of the common causes of those ugly brown stains you may see in your ceilings.

Knocking off icicles is not recommended, and and can easily cause damage to eaves, flashing and gutters.  A professional roofer can assist with proper removal if the weather doesn't ease up enough for them to melt. 

In Spring
Once the snow melts, it is a good idea to inspect your property for damage and catch small problems before they become big ones. Please note that you should probably have a professional do the inspection. Simply walking on your roof can cause damage, so it is a good idea to let the professional do the work. However, you can often inspect your roof visually from the ground using binoculars. Take a look at our list of The 10 Most Common Roofing Problems you might find. If you notice damage, then call in the professionals.

Roofing Southwest has 40 years of experience with extremes in the Southwestern climate and the damage it can cause to roofing materials. If you spot potential problems or have questions about your roof, please call us! Licensed, bonded and insured and with locations in Arizona, Nevada, California, New Mexico and Texas, Roofing Southwest is available for both residential and commercial projects. Their highly trained professional can assist you with all types of maintenance issues ... everything from roof inspections and emergency roof repairs (including tile, foam, shingle, shake), to complete roof replacements and new construction.

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