Winter is Here, Keep Your Roof Clear!

We asked The Lussier Team with Pillar To Post Home Inspections what our clients can expect during the snowy winter months. Hear from owner Brandon Lussier- a leader in Maine’s home inspection industry on how to safely and effectively prepare your roof for snow!

As the snow begins to fall and you start seeing roof tops covered in white many people begin getting out that trusted roof rake to protect their home. It is not uncommon to see folks raking even the smallest amount of snow off the roof thinking they are getting ahead of the storm and protecting their home from potential damage. However, in most cases you are causing more harm than good. Most roof coverings are made of a single layer of strip-shingles (aka 3-tab), dimensional asphalt shingles or luxury asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are manufactured using multiple layers that work together to create the first defense against water entry from above. By using a roof rake, you run the risk of damaging that protection and reducing the life span of your roof’s covering. This is especially true the older your roof covering is.

You want to do everything you can to protect the integrity of you roof covering so before you break out that roof-rake follow these guidelines to assess the pros and cons.

1) How much snow is on your roof? The general rule of thumb is if you have over 6 inches of snow accumulated on your roof you should rake it off. Most roof structures are engineered to support up to 30 pounds per square foot of snow load. That’s roughly the equivalent of one foot of packed snow. Allowing the snow to build up more than 6 inches, not only makes removal more difficult but also increases the risk of structural damages.

2) What is your pitch? Lower sloped roofs or flat roofs will benefit from snow removal if there is less than six inches. Just be gentle and safe. Never climb up on an icy roof.

3) How’s your ventilation? If your roof has poor ventilation and you are seeing ice building up along the roof’s edge, then protecting your home form ice damming take precedent and removing that snow is recommended. This is most common in older homes that either have blocked soffits or no soffits.

4) How many Layers do you have? If your roof has multiple layers, then you already have excessive weight putting pressure on the structure so allowing snow to accumulate you are increasing the risks of collapse. Remember one layer of shingles is all you need.
Our team of ASHI certified home inspectors prides itself on providing a friendly, knowledgeable, and reliable full-service experience. Reach out to the Lussier Team of Pillar to Post Home Inspectors for all your home inspection needs. If you’re looking to book an inspection, visit our website or call our office @ 207-749-3775.