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Snow VS. Roof: What Kind of Roof is the Best for Snow?

Most people know that high winds, and extreme weather can cause damage to most roofs, but something that people usually don’t think about when it comes to roof damage is snow. Whether a light snowfall, or something heavier, snow can cause damage to a roof in a number of ways most homeowners will never think about. Throughout this article we will talk about different things to consider for your roof in a high snowfall area like central Illinois, as well as what types of roofing will be best for your home during these winter months and beyond.

This season is “snow” joke!

Knowing how snow sits on and melts off your roof is the first step to understanding how to avoid massive damage to your home. Proper attic insulation and ventilation play a big part in avoiding damage to your roof and home. As we discussed in our last blog, ice dams are a hazard in the winter time caused by the thawing and refreezing cycle of snow in the coldest months of the year. These ice dams can lead to potential pooling of water causing damage and leaks, particularly in porous roofing.

But weight, there’s more…

Another thing to consider (and arguably one of the most important factors) is the weight of your roofing material. Depending on the type of roofing material you use, you can potentially be adding anywhere between 1.6 and 10 lbs of weight per square foot to the roof trusses in your home. Now factor in water absorption in porous materials keeping in mind that some materials can absorb up to 15% of their weight in moisture! Add to that the snow itself which can weigh up to 20 pounds per cubic foot and now you’re really talking about some weight strain. All that extra weight can potentially cause unrealised damage to the integrity of your roof and home.

Your face isn’t the only porous thing that needs special attention.

Porous roofing materials can lead to additional problems through the winter months. The steady freezing, thawing, and refreezing of snow and ice on your roof can cause roofing materials to undergo some big changes. When water freezes, it expands, and if it expands while absorbed in your roof, it can lead to some serious structural issues. This rubberbanding of temperatures can lead to repeated absorption, expanding, and retracting that can put even more strain on your roof than the snow alone. Shingles, clay tiles, and wood shake are all porous roofing options and may require additional maintenance or specific installation techniques to hold up in the coldest months.

DIY isn’t worth the risk.

If you’re thinking about getting a new roof, or even having your roof repaired, trust the seasoned professionals at Copper Creek Contractors to not only install or repair your roof right the first time, but also to help guide you through the entire roofing process, from material selection down to maintenance and inspections.

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