Instances of roofs collapsing are not overly common, but when roofs do collapse, the results are tragic and often deadly. Therefore, if you live in an area with heavy snowfall, it's important to do all that you can to prevent your roof from collapsing. Here are four steps you can take.
Keep your roof in the best shape possible.
You're not in a position to skimp on roof maintenance if you live in snow country. Keep your gutters clear so the roof drains properly, preventing water damage. If you notice any loose or missing shingles, have them replaced or repaired ASAP. Check flashing to ensure it's secure and in good shape. Rusted flashing may not seem like a big deal, but it can let water trickle down to the roof's underlayment, causing rot that makes a collapse more likely. If you're not confident climbing up on your roof to inspect it yourself, hire a roofing contractor to do this every summer – and make sure any issues they find are fixed by snow season.
Don't put off replacing your roof.
When your roof is nearing the end of its serviceable life, don't try putting off replacing it for another year or two. Weak or damaged shingles can let in small amounts of water that may not leak into your home, but can damage the underlying, supportive roof structures and increase your risk of a collapse. If your roofing contractor says it's time for a new roof, take his or her word for it and arrange for the replacement promptly.
Rake snow off the roof on snowy days.
Invest in a snow rake. They look like garden rakes with long, telescoping handles. Then, whenever it snows, take the time to rake the snow off the roof to decrease the weight it needs to support. Try to keep up with this chore. Don't let too much snow build up before you rake, or it may become icier, heavier, and harder to remove.
Keep gutters clear.
You want to make sure that any melting snow has a clear path off the roof so it does not just re-freeze and add to the weight. Check your gutters in the fall to ensure they're clear. And make sure you don't shovel snow up against the downspouts, blocking them.
If you follow the tips above, you should not have to worry about your roof collapsing under the weight of heavy snow. Contact a roofing company like B & B Roofing for more information.