Clearing Snow from your Roof

January 22, 2013 - 3:22pm

At The Co-operators we continue to build a relationship with our clients beyond purchasing a policy. Here are some helpful loss prevention tips to protect your home and cottage this winter:

Caution is required when removing snow or ice from your roof. Untrained workers could be injured, and damage may be done to the roof covering and material. Personnel assigned to the task should be physically capable, properly trained and have the right equipment to do the job without endangering themselves, others or the structure. Consider hiring professionals to remove snow from all roof surfaces.

Tips to assess and prepare for snow removal:

• When heavy snow falls are experienced, you should be prepared to inspect roof areas for heavy snow loads. Pay attention to vulnerable areas (roof valleys, overhangs, lower roof sections, etc.) where snow tends to drift and accumulate.

• Check interior areas where you can for any truss deflection or leaks. If there are some immediate concerns, ensure that no one is permitted inside of the structure until the load is adequately cleared.

• Snow or ice should be removed from overloaded areas after establishing that the roof can hold the extra weight of equipment and workers.

• Be careful not to compound a problem by piling snow on another area of the roof during removal, as this could overload that section causing a collapse.

• Use caution to not damage the roof covering, which could lead to water leaks when the snow and ice melts. Avoid using pick type tools that could pierce or damage the roof membrane.

• Avoid using open flame torches to melt ice. This will often damage the roofing or the joint seals resulting in water leaks.

• Remove snow/ice accumulations from skylights and around any roof mounted equipment or openings.

• Keep all drains, eaves troughs and roof edges clear of snow and ice to allow for proper run-off. Drains and downspouts should be kept clear and directed away from walkways, parking areas or locations where water can pond. Slip and fall hazards occur when water freezes. As well, water damage problems can be created when warm weather arrives.

Provide warning signs and restrict access to applicable areas along buildings where snow or ice could fall onto parking areas or walkways. Extra precautions are needed to clear these areas during snow removal from roof tops.

Clearing Ice from your Roof

At The Co-operators we continue to build a relationship with our clients beyond purchasing a policy. Here are some helpful loss prevention tips to protect your home and cottage this winter:

Ice damming occurs when snow and ice on a roof cannot escape through eaves troughs and downspouts. The snow and ice goes through a freeze and thaw cycle, creating a barrier at the edge of the roof. This ice dam forces the trapped water back up a roof line where it can enter the attic area under shingles or other openings.

Warm air from attic space can also cause ice damming. The warm air melts the snow, forming ice on the roof edges. This creates an ice dam, trapping and forcing additional melting snow under the roof covering.

Roof protection - shielding members under the first three feet of shingles - is uncommon on older homes. Even when this roof protection is installed, any penetrations are openings for water to bypass. Ice dams and water can travel further than three feet, causing damage.

The following preventive steps can help reduce ice damming problems:

• Keep all drains, eaves troughs and roof edges clear of snow and ice to allow for proper run-off. Drains and downspouts should be kept clear and directed away from walkways, parking areas or locations where water can accumulate and create slip and fall hazards.

• Remove excess snow from roofs and roof penetrations (vents, chimney stacks). This will lessen the snow load concern and reduce water potential to form ice dams. Caution is required when removing snow or ice from your roof. Consider hiring professional contractors as they are trained and have the necessary equipment.

• Assess the attic area for heat loss. The warmed air on the underside of the roof covering could be a major contributor to ice damming problems.

Ask us about ways we can help you be prevent losses to your home! Call Francine Gareau, Associate Insurance Advisor at The Co-operators, #3 1400 Sixth Ave. Prince Albert 953-1636, or visit our website at www.cooperators.ca
 

Join the Discussion

paNOW is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.