The past week has seen some very cold temperatures and snow in much of the US. The bitter cold weather was quickly replaced however by warmer weather, and in many places, rain. The rainfall occurring so soon after snow is causing a lot of problems for homeowners. When snow falls in very cold weather, it accumulates on roofs. When rain then falls, it has nowhere to go and is absorbed by the snow causing a number of potentially serious problems for roofs. The issue is more common with lower sloped roofs but can also occur with steeper roofs as well.

Two major problems

Homeowners whose roofs experienced rainfall with snow already accumulated have two things to worry about. The first is water damage. Because the rainwater can’t flow off the roof, it can pool up on the roof beneath the snow and seep underneath the shingles. Once under the shingles, water can get into the home causing damage to the ceilings, walls, and even the floors.

The other problem is potentially worse than the first. The snow that has accumulated on the roof can absorb the rain water making it extremely heavy. In many instances this added weight can cause serious structural issues to the home.

Remove snow before rain falls

If your roof has a layer of snow and rain is in the forecast in your area, you’ll want to clear away the snow as soon as possible. A snow shovel or rake, especially one that can extend to reach your roof is a great way to clear away snow yourself. If your roof has a lot of snow, or if you have a two story home, it is strongly recommended that you hire a roofing company to come clear the snow. Attempting to climb on your roof when it is snowy or icy is extremely hazardous and should be left to professionals who have the proper equipment and training.

If your roof has already had rain fall on snow, have the roof cleared as soon as possible to minimize damage.

Another solution

Another thing to keep in mind is that your insulation may be to blame. If your attic is poorly insulated, the heat from your home can escape into your attic space warming up the underside of your roof and melting the snow. Having your attic insulated will decrease the chance of these issues occurring for your roof.

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