While December assuaged Ottawa residents with balmy temperatures and a green Christmas, the New Year finally brought the winter we’ve been expecting. From freezing temperatures to heavy snowfalls, this is the time when roofs (and perhaps patience) are put to the ultimate test. Protecting your roof during these conditions is what will ensure it, in return, will be fully able to protect your home. According to roofing companies in Ottawa, here are the most important things you should know about maintaining your roof during the winter.
Look for issues/signs of stress
It’s important to keep an eye on both the outside and inside of your home. On the inside it’s imperative to regularly inspect the roof and walls for any unusual movement, sagging, leaking and/or cracking and keep an ear open for any unusual sounds. Doors that begin to rub or jam can also be another sign of an overloaded roof. If you notice cracking or leaking in your roof or walls contact professional roofing contractors in Ottawa immediately. Catching leaks early on can help avoid some of these nasty issues like The Canadian Science and Technology Museum had here in Ottawa.
On the outside, pay attention to areas where snow tends to accumulate the most. This may include near dormers or valleys. It’s also important to watch for ice build up, which created when the heat from your home escapes and melts the snow on your roof. When ice forms at the edge of your roof it creates an ice dam, which can allow for water penetration and cause extensive damage to your roof and home. If you notice the formation of ice dams on your roof it is highly suggested that you look up professional roofing companies in Ottawa to remove the ice and inspect for damage.
How much snow is too much snow?
Determining how much snow a roof can handle is difficult to gauge by simply looking at it; it is based more on the weight of the snow than the actual amount (i.e. fluffy snow is much lighter than slushy snow). Depending on the location of the home, the roof must be designed for a specific rain and snow load according to the National Building Code (NBC); however, the minimum requirement is 1 kilopascal (21lbs per square foot). For more information about the specific weight load of your roof, it’s best to contact a building specialist or consult professional roofing contractors in Ottawa.
When to hire a professional
Although a snow rake can help you clear some of the accumulated snow, it’s important to be careful. Shoveling your own roof comes with several risks from safety to shingle damage. Extensive ice and snow build-ups are best left to professional roofing companies in Ottawa who regularly perform these removals. Just be certain to look for roofing contractors in Ottawa who are fully certified and WSIB covered.
While the collection of snow on our roofs is an annoying part of Canadian life, home improvement expert Mike Holmes reminds us it’s actually a good thing, “The funny thing is that you want your roof to have snow. If the snow doesn’t melt, your attic insulation is doing its job.“ But warns, “…if there’s too much snow and ice the roof can collapse.” So be grateful for that white fluff, but know how much is too much and when to consult roofing companies in Ottawa.