Heavy snow and extremely low temperatures are just two of the most common winter elements that contribute to roof damage. A flat roof can suffer considerable damage in winter as it tends to support far more than the normal weight. In addition, the prospect of ice and thermal shock usually discourage any attempt to repair or clean out excessive snow and debris during winter.
The impact of heavy snow
As a Minnesota resident or building owner, your roof is most likely designed to withstand larger weights. however, there are still concerns over heavy snowfall that can add up to 20 pounds of weight per cubic foot. Keep in mind: if the snow undergoes the usual thaw/freeze cycle, that weight can exceed 50 pounds per cubic foot.
Because moisture levels vary widely, snow depth is not a good indicator of weight. There are signs to indicate that your roof is carrying too much weight due to heavy snow. These include loud popping noises, cracked wooden supports, bended metal supports, and a sagging purlin.
Freeze and thaw cycles
Although modern roofs have strong defense against the elements, snow and ice, particularly when coupled with partial thawing and freezing, can have damaging effects on any type of roof. The most vulnerable areas include the drains, downspouts, seams, and areas where snow drifts can accumulate. Constant thawing and freezing are a constant risk to the roof because when water seeps into a crack and freezes, it tends to expand the crack, causing leaks.
Metallic roofing structures and aging roof membranes are susceptible to damage from constant temperature extremes. Thermal shock occurs when daytime heat warms the roof surface only to be followed by extremely low temperatures at night. This constant temperature shift eventually causes roofing structures to lose their tensile feature and their ability to expand and contract without suffering damage.
Preventative measures that you can take
Regular inspection and maintenance is recommended by roofing experts as the only viable solution to extending the life cycle of your roof and preventing damage. Your roof is not designed to last forever; but with continuous care, you can extend its life cycle significantly and prevent damage to your building and belongings.
Based in Minnesota, Central Roofing Company™ provides preventative roof maintenance services in the Midwestern United States. Contact us online or call us at 763-572-0660 to learn more.