Calgary Roof Safety in Winter
Flat or slanted, Calgary roofing take a beating in the winter–whether it be moisture, icicles, ice dams, or heft, there are ways you can protect the most important part of your property to keep it safe and problem free.
We’ve all heard about roof collapses on larger buildings like shopping malls and corporate offices, but there can be a real possibility of sagging roofs and damage as a result of a large amount of snowfall on a home or garage.
So how do you know if there is an excessive amount of load on your roof before you do something about it?
What can you to do protect your roof before the snow flies:
- Determine the pitch, (high is better), to figure out the potential rate for melting and accumulations. Gutters may also be a good indicator of the rate of melting. If there is little run off, or even icicles, it may be an indicator that the snow and ice are stuck on the roof, as opposed to running off the channels.
- Make sure that your roof is properly installed. If you need a complete replacement, the A two Z Windows & Doors Calgary roofing specialists can give you a free and honestly priced assessment or suggestions, so that you know how to budget ahead of time. Or you may be able to claim damage to your roofing through your insurance company. A two Z can also assist with your Calgary roof replacement, including starting the claim with your insurance company on your behalf. That takes the stress off you and puts you in charge of choosing your own installer, rather than one you don’t know or trust through your insurance company.
- Check the integrity (with the help of an A two Z roofing expert and/or a materials are compromised,
- We’ve created a blog that reviews how to prepare your roof for winter, filled with lots of great suggestions that are safe and effective. We’ve also got some advice on how to winterize your Calgary windows and doors.
- Check the stability and integrity of your soffit, fascia and eaves. These help to protect your home’s interior from moisture. If there are gaps and holes, or if your eavestroughs are plugged with debris, you need to keep them clean for snow runoff.
After snowfall accumulation: What you can do to determine if there is a problem:
- SAFETY FIRST: If you do decide to get on top of your roof yourself, use fall protection equipment and ensure you have someone assisting you below, to assure the ladder is secure. Secure boots, with a good grip, or added spikes, would be helpful. Tamp down snow in your working area on the ground to secure your ladder and other equipment. Make sure to wear head and eye protection as well. Wayward pieces of ice can cause eye, skin and head injuries.
- LOOK FOR ELECTRICAL LINES ABOVE: Also important, especially if you are operating a tall ladder or roof rake.
- Enlist the services of a roof snow removal expert. They’ve got the equipment and experience to do the job and it can save you time and the potential for injury. They can also provide advice on how to prevent the issue in the future.
- Homes are typically build with specific load bearing construction for roofing–due to engineering build requirements by local municipalities in Alberta. The average roof and structure should be able to handle average snowfall (a foot of snow is about 3 to 20 pounds per square inch, depending on the amount of melt and moisture within the pile. With our famous Chinook winds, although welcome during a cold snap, can make snow heavier on a roof through the bottom to top melting, compounding the weight and creating ice issues as well (which can weigh as much as 55 pounds per square inch.
- If you choose to speed up melting, a darker colour of roofing tiles can potentially speed up the potential for melting, but alternatively, can boost heat in your home during a hot summer.
- If you have a historical home and you are worried about accumulation damage, talk to property inspector or a structural engineer to determine weak spots and potential fixes.
- You can’t determine the potential weight of the snow by depth alone. The weight of the snow is undetectable. You can however, make a guess according to snow around the home. If it’s heavy on the bottom while scooping it off your deck or sidewalk, it is probably heavy on your roof as well.
- A good rule of thumb is to remove snow on a roof that is more than 18 inches deep. Contact a roof cleaning expert or an engineer from the City of Calgary to determine if it needs to be cleaned off.
- If you are hearing creaking, cracking or popping in the attic, it may be worth a look. Although, if the weather is very cold, like, really cold, wood joists have been known to snap. Either way, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- If you choose to remove it yourself, there are some safe ways to do it, including using a roof rake, an extended pole with a rake-like brush on the end. It can also help to remove ice that has built up. The rake prevents the need to use a ladder, which can add danger to your goal.
- SAFETY FIRST: If you do decide to get on top of your roof, use fall protection equipment and ensure you have someone assisting you below, to assure the ladder is secure. Secure boots, with a good grip, or added spikes, would be helpful. Tamp down snow in your working area on the ground to secure your ladder and other equipment.
- Start at the edge of the roof first then use a downward stroke to bring at least some of the snow and ice off. With more exposure to air and wind, the remaining snow can melt faster on its own.
Before you begin your Calgary roof snow removal venture, contact the exterior experts at A two Z Windows & Doors for the best advice. Call 403-257-DOOR (3667) or email us.