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Roofing Question

Should I be worried about snow build up on my roof?

With many regions facing record snows, it's wise to consider how these conditions impact your home. Snow build up on your roof--also called snow loading--can cause a tremendous amount of structural strain and even roof cave-ins.

The University of Arkansas's agricultural extention published a report in 2006 about ice and snow accumulation on roofs that puts the weight issues associated with snow in perspective. According to the paper, one cubic square foot of light snow can weigh 3.12 pounds. Heavier, wet snow can weigh more than 20 pounds per cubic foot. Ice accumulation is the most dangerous; a cubic foot of ice weighs more than 57 pounds.

The bottom line: snow build up on your roof can amount to a tremendous amount of weight--maybe too much. From a structural standpoint, there's absolutely no way to tell by looking at your roof how much excess weight it can bear, and for how long, especially if you're living in an area not accustomed to heavy snows. It's better to be safe than sorry, so we recommend removing the snow as soon as you can.

You can remove the snow with special snow roof rakes or shovels--just be careful not to fall. If you can't remove the snow and ice yourself, hire someone else to do it. Either way, removing snow build up on your roof can improve its longevity and spare you costly repairs.

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Roofing vs. Reroofing

Roofing vs. Reroofing

If you come to find out that your roof has been damaged and needs to be fixed then there are two main approaches you can take. You can either decide to make a roof repair or replace the entire roof. Roof repairs will generally save you time and money, but in most cases a new roof is the best option. As a general rule of thumb, if the existing roof on is only one layer and there are no problems with the roof deck, a new roof is not necessary.

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