Winter is rapidly approaching, which for most New York residents, means below-freezing temperatures and up to several feet of snowfall. While a thick blanket of snow permits the joys of sledding and snowmen building, it also may place a heavy burden on your roof. Those with flat roofs may be particularly susceptible to wintertime problems.
What to Know About Flat Roofs & Snow
In the absence of any angles, flat roofs do not allow snow or snowmelt to slide off like other roofing styles. Without action, the snow may melt, leading to water damage. The water melt may also freeze, allowing the snow to thrive while packing additional pounds onto the roof. Flat roofs can only handle so much weight. The amount it can hold ultimately depends on the unique construction of the roof.
The weight of snow depends on the amount of water it contains. A cubic foot of dry snow may weigh about eight pounds, for instance, while packed snow may weigh up to 20 per cubic foot. Meanwhile, ice may weigh up to 60 pounds per cubic foot. Thus, a roof that could support 20 pounds per square foot of snow could handle about 4 inches of ice.
Signs of Stress
Interior leaks, sagging, bends, and ripples all may signal excessive snowfall on your roof. If you notice cracks in walls or bowed pipes, you may likewise have excessive weight piled up. If you notice any of these issues, it’s important to enlist a qualified roofing contractor right away. Without prompt intervention, you risk your entire roof caving in or suffering more severe water damage.
Rather than waiting until your roof suffers damage, simply remove snow from flat roofs as soon as possible. If you can reach the roof from ground level, use a snow rake and leaf blower to clear the area. Due to icy and slippery conditions, do not attempt to use a ladder or climb up on the roof. Instead, always enlist a qualified roofing contractor to prevent future problems.
If your flat roof gets hit with severe snowfall this winter, consult the experts who can help. The roofing team from JAM Associates in Poughkeepsie, NY, is particularly skilled in serving the unique challenges that flat and low-sloped roofs present. To learn more about the contractors, call them today at (845) 454-4853 or visit their website.