Snow and Ice Create Headaches for Homeowners

Mar 01, 2011, 11:30 ET from Metal Roofing Alliance

BELFAIR, Wash., March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Even after digging out from this year's record-setting snow and ice storms, many homeowners are still dealing with the aftermath.  Others are hoping to prevent future damage to their homes.  Snow and ice can result in major roofing problems, including ice dams, leaking and collapse.

Snow and ice on a roof exert vertical loads that can cause a roof to sag, or fail.  Although powdery snow weighs little, slushy, wet snow can weigh over 62 pounds per square foot.  A typical roof is 2,200 square feet, which amounts to 136,000 pounds of weight on the roof.  

Like a beaver's dam, an ice dam can also form on a roof's edge, preventing melted snow from draining off.  In some cases, the water backs up behind the dam, and leaks into the home, causing wall, ceiling and insulation damage.

Some homeowners have resorted to raking snow and ice off roofs.  While raking may provide a short term solution, it can also create long term problems, such as removal of shingles or damage to the roof deck, leading to leaks.

"Homes that have been damaged by this year's ice and snow would benefit from the installation of a durable metal roof.  Not only will it protect your family for years to come, a metal roof sheds snow quickly and reduces the risk of damage from ice dams," states Bill Hippard, president of the Metal Roofing Alliance.   "This is precisely why many log homes or vacation properties in heavy snow areas feature metal roofs."

By design, metal roofs shed snow quicker than most roofing materials.  When the sun shines, its heat passes through the snow, hits the metal, and is reflected back.  Just like snow melting on the hood of a car, the sun heats up a metal roof, allowing snow to melt over the entire roof surface.  As the ice and snow melt from the bottom on a metal roof, there is an increased rate of shedding.  

Although rare, ice dams can occur on a metal roof; however, they will be less destructive than on homes with other roof types.  The interlocking nature of the panels, the strength of the metal and the underlayment used beneath metal roofs reduce the chance of melted snow and ice leaking into the home.

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SOURCE Metal Roofing Alliance