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How to Prevent Snow and Ice from Damaging Your Roof in Colorado

How to Prevent Snow and Ice from Damaging Your Roof In Colorado

Snow and ice might look picturesque sitting on top of your house, but they aren’t friends to your roof. Throughout the cold Denver winters, snow and ice will accumulate, thaw, and refreeze, causing a myriad of expensive problems. In 2019, winter weather caused over $2 billion in property damage and $3 billion the year before!

To keep your home (and your wallet) in good shape, it’s important to protect your roof from snow and ice before the frigid Colorado winter weather hits.

How Does Snow and Ice Damage Your Roof?

Snow and ice might be pretty—and fun if you like to hit the slopes—but it’s definitely not fun if you have to pay for roofing repairs. Here are just a few of the ways snow and ice can hurt your roof:

  • Weight – Snow is heavy. Anyone who’s ever had to shovel a driveway can attest to that. The more snow that accumulates on your roof, the heavier it becomes. If the snow gets too heavy, you could experience a cave-in.

  • Ice Dams – In Colorado, it’s not uncommon to enjoy a nice, sunny 60-degree day, then need to grab your blankets for a night of freezing temperatures. If there’s snow on your roof, it could melt during the day and refreeze at night to form ice dams. Ice dams are formed when snow melts, flows down your roof, then refreezes in your gutters and over the edges of your house. The icicles might look pretty in the morning, but they’re also heavy. Ice dams can destroy your gutters and even rip the flashing off your roof.

  • Freeze and Thaw – Water expands when it freezes. When snow and ice thaw during the day, the water finds its way into every crack and crevice on your roof. At night when it refreezes, the water expands, making the cracks even bigger for the next day. Over the course of the winter, this can create major leaks in your roof and even destroy your shingles.

Winter weather can cause serious damage to your roof and home. If you want to avoid expensive repair bills in the spring (or earlier), take all the necessary precautions to protect your roof from snow and ice.

3 Tips to Protect Your Roof from Snow and Ice

With all the damage that a Denver winter can bring, it’s important to protect your roof from snow and ice. Here are a few tips to prevent damage to your roof in the cold, snowy months.

1. Shovel Your Roof (Carefully)

A little snow won’t hurt your roof. It’s designed to hold a decent amount of weight. But in the Denver area, we get around 60-inches of snow every year. That amount of accumulation can easily exceed your roof’s weight limit and cause a cave-in.

If there’s a big snowstorm in the forecast, keep an eye on the accumulation on your roof. If it starts to be too much, you might need to remove some of it. Shoveling your roof is very dangerous, so be extra careful. Always start at the top and work your way down. You don’t want an avalanche to knock you off the roof!

2. Clean Your Gutters in the Fall

Water accumulation is the main cause of ice dams and refreezing damage. If your roof can’t shed the water from snowmelt, it’ll just sit there and refreeze. Make sure water has somewhere to go by keeping your gutters clear of leaves and debris.

Obviously, you won’t be able to get to your gutters if they’re filled with snow and ice. Make sure you clear your gutters in the fall, before the winter chill rolls in. It might not be the most fun chore in the world, but it’ll help you save big money on roof repairs.

3. Check Attic Insulation and Ventilation

It might sound strange, but you actually want your attic to be cold in the winter. Too much warm air in your attic will cause the lower snow layers on your roof to melt and refreeze on the edge of your roof, causing ice dams.

Make sure your attic has enough ventilation to prevent heat buildup. You should also check that you have enough insulation and that it’s in good condition. In colder climates like Colorado, it’s suggested that you have at least 16 to 18-inches of insulation to prevent the heat in your attic from reaching your roof (and vice versa).

Protect Your Roof from Damaging Winter Weather

Cold Denver winters will do more than just numb your toes; it could cause serious damage to your roof. Before winter weather strikes, make sure your gutters are clear and your attic has enough insulation and ventilation. If there’s a big snowstorm, remove excess snow from your roof to lighten the load and prevent a cave-in. Take these precautions, and you won’t have to pay for expensive roofing repair bills in the spring.

If you want to make sure your roof is up for the harsh winter weather, contact BossLady Contracting for a free estimate. Whether you need roofing, exterior, or interior work, we’ll make sure your home is ready to handle whatever winter throws its way.


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