Weight of the Snow Is What Matters (Not 'How Much')
The critical factor in determining excessive snow loads on your roof isn’t the depth of the snow, it’s the weight, says home improvement expert Jon Eakes.
That’s because wet snow is a whole lot heavier than dry, fluffy snow. In fact, six inches of wet snow is equal to the weight of about 38 inches of dry snow. That’s a huge difference!
The good news is that your roof is required by building codes to withstand the heaviest snows for your part of the country.
“Theoretically, if your roof is built to code, it’s built to support more than the normal load of snow and ice,” says Eakes.
How to know if you’ve got wet or dry snow? You back will let you know. Simply heft a few shovelfuls — you should be able to quickly tell. Plus, local weather forecasts should alert you if snow loads are becoming excessive.
Your Doors Will Tell You If There's Too Much Snow
Your interior doors are a really good clue. If they begin to stick, that signals there’s enough weight on the center structure of the house to distort the door frame (yikes!).
Ignore doors on exterior walls but check interior doors leading to second-floor bedrooms, closets, and attics in the center of your home. Also, examine the drywall or plaster around the frames of these doors for visible cracks.
Homes that are most susceptible to roof cave-ins are those that underwent sloppy renovations. Improper removal of interior load-bearing walls is often responsible for catastrophic roof collapses from snow.
If You Decide the Snow Must Be Removed
Don’t do it yourself if it means getting on the roof.
“People die every year just climbing ladders,” Eakes points out. “Add ice and snow and you’re really asking for trouble.”
Instead, call a professional snow removal contractor to safely do the job.
Check to make sure they are licensed and insured — that immediately sets them apart from inexperienced competitors.
Expect to pay $250 to $500 for most jobs. Full roofs and buildings can cost easily over 600$. That’s because they need special gear, including sturdy extension ladders, properly anchored safety harnesses, and specialized snow and ice-removal tools.
Don’t expect (or demand) a bone-dry roof at job’s end. The goal is to remove “excessive” weight as opposed to all weight. Plus, any attempt to completely remove the bottom layer of ice will almost always result in irreparable damage to your roofing.
Read full article here.