Roof Snow Removal Tips That Work

Any homeowner who has spent more than one or two winters in the North knows how much snow can accumulate on a roof and how fast it can build up. Chances are anyone who lives in the North also knows how devastating snow and ice accumulate on the roof can be for the structure below. If you are looking for some roof snow removal tips that work then this is the article you do not want to gloss over! The team of roofing experts here at Stay Dry Roofing have years of experience working with winter roof care and maintenance including snow and ice removal. We have seen first hand how damaging winter weather can be for the homes and businesses in the area and we are here to help!  If you have any concerns at all about your roof this winter or you have questions about to care for your roof, give us a call.

Why do I need to get the snow removed from my roof?

The main reason you should keep your roof as snow-free as possible during the winter is that this is a crucial step in preventing ice dams from forming on your roof. Ice dams can’t form without snow because they rely on snows melting and re-freezing on the roof.  If you’re able to prevent ice dams, you’re far more likely to prevent your roof from leaking and damaging the inside of your home. And this all starts with keeping the amount of snow on your roof at a minimum.  Another reason roof snow removal is so important is that it’s a good idea to keep all that excess weight off your roof.  Snow can get quite heavy and ice that forms from refreezing snow melts can be even heavier and put a lot of stress on the support structures of your home. As a rule of thumb, one square-foot of snow that’s one-inch deep weighs about a pound.  If your roof has 12 inches of snow on it, that could easily amount to thousands of pounds of stress on your roof, which is much more than most roofs are rated to safely support for long periods of time. That’s not even counting the weight of any ice dams that may form as a result of leaving the snow on your roof; just one cubic foot of ice weighs 57 pounds, and a typical ice dam can weigh thousands of pounds.  So, finding and implementing roof snow removal tips that work is one of the best things you can do to protect your property this winter.

How do I know when roof snow removal is necessary?

There is some debate among roofing contractors and homeowners as to how much snow and ice is too much to have building up on a roof. It depends partly on the age of the roofing system, they style roof you have, the materials used, how well the roof has been maintained, and the environmental factors that are at a play. Here at Stay Dry Roofing, we think a good rule of thumb is to get your roof cleared after every 6 inches of snowfall.  If you prevent too much snow from piling up on your roof, it’s much harder for ice dams to form and you can certainly stop worrying about any sort of roof cave-in. If you know your area is prone to massive snow dumps over a short period of time with winter storms, or you have had issues with ice dams and heavy snow loads in the past, you are going to want to stay on top of snow removal and do it more often.

When deciding the right time to get roof snow removal, it’s also important to take into account how heavy the snow is.  Snow can vary in its weight by quite a bit. Wet, heavy snow can weigh 6 or more times as much as lighter dryer snow.  One cubic foot of snow can typically range in weight from as little as 0.26lbs (light, dry snow) to as much as 1.66lbs. (heavy, wet snow).  Wet snow that seems damp and leaves your gloves or clothes damp may indicate a need for more routine snow removal. Soft, light powdery snow can accumulate more without being too heavy. Though it is important to note that 12 inches of light fluffy snow can get wet and heavy if there is a small period of thawing temperatures or heavier wetter snow falls on top of it. How often you need to get your roof cleared also depends partly on the weather forecast and what the weather is like, how much snow is predicted to falls, and what the temperatures for the next few days look like.  Stay Dry Roofing knows snow and winter roof care and we can help you with roof snow removal tips that work and roof care services that take care of all the hard stuff for you.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Snow Removal

We have seen homeowners try with the best of interests to deal with snow and ice accumulation on their own but many times it does not work out too well. It is always best to trust the experts with  your roofing needs, but if you want to do what you can to take care of your roofing system this winter, here are a few “do’s and don’ts” of roof snow removal you need to know:

  • Do remove the snow either by shovel or by rake, whichever is easiest and safest for you, so that you reduce the chance of ice dams forming.
  • Don’t use salt products on your roof because it can damage your roof materials and damage your yard and driveway, and anything located below on the ground.
  • Don’t use heat cables as we have found them to be fairly expensive and not all that effective once the snow has accumulated past 6 inches deep.
  • Do remember to reduce ice dams, snow should not accumulate past 6 inches and to reduce the chance of roof collapse, snow should not accumulate past 12 inches.
  • Do be careful to avoid any overhead power lines, cables, tree limbs or anything else hanging over your property when you are raking your roof.
  • Do make sure you clear the overhangs and eves and all areas of the roof to ensure snow and ice loads do not grow too heavy.
  • Don’t try to remove the snow yourself if you are unsure as it is best to call in the experts to handle heavy snow and ice removal safely and effectively.
  • Don’t use a shovel with a metal edge or shovel your entire roof more than a handful of times each winter, as it can gouge and damage roofing materials.
  • Don’t leave any snow pathways on your roof—caused by walking back and forth through the snow as this can lead to uneven weight distribution.
  • Do be very wary of any roof snow removal companies whose rates are surprisingly low as they are usually doing a half-assed job and it will show.
  • Do realize that the best snow and ice dam removal teams will be thorough, communicative, and honest with you about the cost of services and what you need.

ice and snow on the roof

Contact Us Today

To learn more about roof snow removal tips that work and to find the best roofing contractors in the area to work with this winter, give us a call here at Stay Dry Roofing. Our team of experienced roof care experts are ready to help you get through this winter without incident and if something should arise, we will be there to help you through it every step of the way.  Call now for a consultation appointment and no obligation estimate!

 

Dealing With Icicles on the Roof Safely

Sub-freezing temperatures and warmer sunny periods during the day can create one of the many breath-taking sights of a winter wonderland-icicles. While these icy creations are pretty in scenic pictures and are considered a part of the winter season, they do have a darker and even dangerous side. Icicles can actually pose a real danger to people, pets, and property, especially if they are not removed the correct way. That is why we here at Stay Dry Roofing wanted to take some time to address the importance of dealing with icicles on the roof in a safe and effective manner.

Dangers icicles pose

Clogged gutters and downspouts are among of the biggest contributors to icicle formation. When the gutters cannot drain properly the water backs up and freeze into sheets and rivers of ice. Icicles on the roof will begin to form and grow. To prevent icicles from forming, keep your gutters clear of leaves, needles, and other debris. Clogged gutters will quickly accumulate ice and snow which can drastically increase the weight the gutters and eaves of our home are having to support. It is common for gutters to tear off the roof under the sheer weight of ice and snow. This can damage the roof and property around the home and can seriously injure anyone in the vicinity. When gutters are clogged you can also get ice dam formations along with icicles on the roof. “The three things necessary to form icicles — snow, heat to melt the snow and cold weather — are also needed to form ice dams… Ice dams form when warm air from inside your home melts snow on the roof. When the meltwater reaches the colder eaves (the part of the roof that extends beyond the walls), the water refreezes and creates a buildup of ice along the edge of your roofline, states the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety” (IBHS). So, icicles hanging from a roof could indicate a serious ice dam problem but it is important to remember that ice dams can form with no icicles on the roof and icicles can form even when there is no ice dam present at all.

snow ice and icicles

 

Protecting people, property, and pets

When too much ice builds up, the sheets of ice can break off, icicles can snap and fall and heavy snow drifts can fall, causing damage to people and property below. Trying to chip the ice from the gutters and trying to knock off the icicles on the roof while balancing on a ladder are both extremely dangerous and can cause even more damage and greater injury. When you have a problem with ice and snow accumulation and have icicles you need to safely remove, it’s best to enlist the support of a roofing professional. Melting snow and ice can cause water damage to your roof and attack and dripping icicles can cause water damage to your eaves and the foundation of your home. The best way to protect your home from water damage and damage caused by heavy ice and snow and the best way to protect your family and pets from the dangers of falling icicles and snow packs is to call in professional roofing help.

Thousands injured from falls off ladders

Before you clean your gutters, however, make sure you review your ladder safety notes and follow proper ladder safety measures. In the United States, falls from ladders is a leading cause of home-based injuries. “Ladder-related injuries per 100,000 people rose almost 27 percent during the 16-year study period — 97.3 percent occurred in non-occupational settings, such as homes and farms. More than 2.1 million people needed to be hospitalized, about twice the overall admission rate for consumer-product related injuries” (ISHN). If it is not worth the risk of a fall to try and get your roof and gutters cleared off. Always know your limits and if you do not feel you can do it safely and properly then wait till you are able to call in expert help to deal with ice, snow, and icicles on the roof!

Ladder Safety 101

If you do decide to get on a ladder to deal with snow and icicles on the roof then follow these basic ladder safety tips each and every time!

  • The ladder should extend at least 3 feet over the roofline to ensure you are not reaching too far back behind the center of gravity.
  • Always use a ladder on flat ground and make sure you are using leg levelers to balance the ladder when using one on soft or uneven ground.
  • Check the ladder’s maximum load rating and make sure your weight combined with any supplies you are carrying does not exceed the weight limits.
  • Straight and adjustable ladders should not be used unless they have slip-resistant feet and are in good working order.
  • Do not use a metal ladder if your roof has power lines running to it and do not use near power lines or electrical equipment; a wood or fiberglass ladders is safer.
  • Make sure to inspect the ladder before using it and make sure all rungs, locks, and spreader braces are in good order and properly engaged before getting on the ladder.
  • If possible, have someone with you who can hold the ladder and act as a spotter for you while you are on the ladder and on the roof as well.

Hire a contractor

Getting on your roof yourself is not recommended if you’re not used to regularly climbing ladders at those heights. If you do not use ladders on a regular basis as part of your job and are not rained in proper ladder safety measures it is best to call in the experts rather than risking it on your own.  When looking for a roofing contractor, make sure you check to ensure you are working with a professional company and area avoiding scams and fakes.  Ask to see their business license, proof of insurance, certifications, permanent business address, and Better Business Bureau rating. Here at Stay Dry Roofing, we have decades of experience and years of hands-on training and our team of roofing experts are ready to go to work for you. Call us today to schedule a free consultation appointment and let us show you what we can do for you and how we can help you deal with icicles on the roof safely!

Why You Should Not Use Rock Salt on Your Roof

Rock salt is well known for its damaging effects on roads, driveways, other outdoor surfaces, and even vehicles. However, there is another time when it can do damage — when you use rock salt on your roof. Most homeowners know the dangers of snow and ice accumulation on the roof. Unfortunately, many reach for the rock salt to cut through the snow and ice. “When the snow piles high in the winter, most of us are not concerned with the harmful results of applying roof melt chemicals. Afterall, salts and roof melt chemicals are a recognized and relatively easy method to melt snow and prevent ice build-up. What is not understood is the downstream damaging impact of using salts and chemicals” (HotEdge). It is a bad idea to use rock salt on your roof for a number of important reasons:

Why You Shouldn’t Use Rock Salt on Your Roof

While it works and will remove snow and ice from your roof and prevent accumulation, it is not recommended to use rock salt on your roof. In this article, we hope to address the main reasons why rock salt is not a good way to cure ice dams:

  • It is ineffective: Rock salt can melt ice only at temperatures down to 20° F (-6.67° C). What this means in layman’s terms is it will only work if the temperature is on the ‘warm side of freezing’ or 20 to 32° F (-6.67 to 0° C).
  • It is not practical: Another disadvantage to trying to use rock salt to melt ice dams is that the typical ice dam is made of many hundreds of gallons of frozen water and can be extremely heavy. The sheer volume of snow and ice that can be on a roof that has not been cleared in a while would require too many pounds of rock salt to melt it to be truly practical.
  • It rusts nail heads: Rock salt may not damage the shingles themselves, but it can cause the nails holding your shingles to the roof to corrode. In turn, this rust can cause stains and streaks on your roof. Additionally, if they get too bad, the nails can rust through and break, thus causing your shingles to become loose and get damaged.
  • It rusts other building materials: Rock salt that you scatter along your roof will not stay there for long. As it melts, the ice and as the weather affects the salt, it will wash over the eaves and over the rest of your roofing system. It can corrode downspouts and also damage driveways and sidewalks where the melted salt ends up pooling.
  • It can damage garden plants: Once rock salt melts and mixes with water, it will drip down the roof and through the downspouts. When it pours out of the downspout and drips off the eaves of your roof, it can reach garden beds and “poison” the soil. Salt is damaging to plants and very few varieties are tolerant enough to withstand the dangerous levels that can occur when you use rock salt on your roof.
  • It can damage masonry: Melted water with rock salt mixed can drip off the roof edge and onto stone or brick masonry. Salt particles can easily get in through the porous surfaces build up quickly. The true danger is that this salt accumulation can greatly speed up the freeze-thaw damage in much the same way as it does with common concrete/asphalt driveway damage.

How to Remove Ice Dams Without Using Rock Salt

First of all, while rock salt is a bad idea, please do not use table salt as a rock salt substitute!  It has the exact same chemical composition; the only difference is that it is ground up into smaller pieces. So, the damage and risks are exactly the same as if you use rock salt on your roof.

Also, it is very risky to chip away at an ice dam with a hammer, ice pick, or shovel. There is a very high risk of losing your footing on the snow and ice and falling from the roof. Chipping away with a sharp or heavy object will likely damage your shingles, which are already brittle from the cold. Additionally, using these kinds of tools to remove snow and ice will make it easier for you to fall if you lose your balance.

It is better to try and clear off snow build up from the ground or from a short-run ladder. You can utilize a long-handled roof rake to clear snow away and prevent the thaw and refreeze that causes ice dams to form. You can also better insulate and ventilate your attic and control the temperatures inside your home to help reduce the thawing risk this winter. This can help you avoid the need to use rock salt on your roof.

In extreme cases, it is always advisable to hire a professional roofer to deal with your roofing concerns. They can get rid of the snow and ice buildup safely without risking damage to your roof, your home, or yourself. And they can get the job done without needing to use rock salt on your roof or other damaging products that can do more harm than good.

Contact Stay Dry Roofing Today

To learn more about snow and ice removal and how to prevent ice dams this winter, contact Stay Dry Roofing today. Don’t resort to risky moves like trying to use rock salt on your roof. Trust the roofing experts and get your roof ready now before the heavy snows start to fall! Call today and schedule a consultation appointment and let the Stay Dry Roofing team come to inspect your roof and develop a winter care plan that is customized for you!

 

Understanding the Risk of Snow and Ice Accumulation on the Roof

Extreme winter weather is bad for people but is also poses a serious risk for your roofing system as the risk of snow and ice accumulation grows the deeper into a brutal winter we get. Roof care for the winter months is critical to keeping your roof in good shape all year round. It is also the biggest contributing factor to prevent roof damage and roof collapse due to snow and ice accumulation. “Snow and ice can collapse roofs, especially on older buildings. Older buildings have a greater risk of corrosion, which can weaken its structural integrity. Newer buildings that have roofs made of light-weight metal, roofs that are flat, or roofs that do not have a lot of supports are more likely to give-in under the pressure of excess snow and ice. Snow drifts on a flat roof that have projections, a lower roof, or other equipment can accumulate snow that has drifted with the wind. This can cause vulnerability unless additional strengthening supports are added. One should contact a professional about safely removing excess snow and ice from a roof” (Polygon Group).

winter roof care in Indianapolis

Prepare Before the Snow and Ice Hits

“There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof’s outside surface must be above 32 degrees F while lower surfaces are below 32…The snow on a roof surface that is above 32 will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32 and freezes…The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32” (University of Minnesota Extension).

You can make sure your roof is in the best shape possible to handle the snow and ice that is coming by inspecting it now and taking care of any damage or issue before winter hits. To help keep ice off roofs that are sloped, and to reduce the rate at which the ice accumulates on the roof, it is important to make sure attics are well ventilated so the snow won’t melt and refreeze as ice. When the attic isn’t properly ventilated the hot air of the home accumulates and causes the melting and freezing that creates dangerous ice dams. Melted snow and ice can enter a roof via the eaves and flat roofs can experience water damage if ice dams form and prevent water from flowing into drains on a roof. Gutters can also fill with snow and melt that refreezes into ice which can weigh down the eves and cause problems when the weight load gets too heavy. Preventative maintenance is crucial during the winter months to help avoid costly repairs and one of the biggest examples of the risk of snow and ice accumulation that exists is the sheer weight that can accumulate on the roof!

preparing for winter roofing needs

 

Estimate How Much Weight Your Roof Can Support

Snow may seem light and fluffy, but if you have ever been trapped under snow or have sunk to your waist in a snow drift than you know how heavy it can be. Now think about 5-10 feet of that sitting on your roof after a few months of weekly snow storms and snowfall. It is easy to see how the weight can get a bit excessive, but just how heavy can it get? Here are some figures to help put it in perspective:

  • Unless the roof has been damaged or weakened somehow, most modern roofing systems 10 years old or younger should be able to support 20 lbs of weight per square foot of roofing space before it gets to a dangerous level.
  • In some areas of the country where heavy snows and long brutal winters are common, the snow loads used in home design may be considerably higher and can withstand a much larger load before becoming stressed.
  • If you live in a high snow area, you can probably check building codes and look up the reports for when your home or office building was built and see what the specs were for the roofing system that you currently have.

risk of snow and ice accumulation

Evaluate Your Risk of Rooftop Snow/Ice Accumulation

  • Melting snow will drip off steeply sloped roofs faster, giving it less chance to refreeze as ice and build up under the snow load. This is why the roofs of many northern homes and those in high snow areas are usually built with a steep slope.
  • Ice and snow will accumulate much faster on low slope and flat roofs because it has a much longer time in contact with the cold snow and can refreeze before it all has the chance to run off the rooftop and will build thick layers of ice.
  • Poor ventilation of the home and attic will also make you more prone to ice and snow load damage. Heat from the home can melt the snow so it liquifies or turns to slush, but it will quickly refreeze when temperatures dip at night.
  • Older roofing systems are at an increased risk of snow and ice accumulation because older roofs are not often designed to withstand heavy loads. They also may not be designed to reduce the chance of ice accumulation and snow load.

Estimate How Much the Snow on Your Roof Weighs

Using these guidelines from The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety you can use the following to see if your roof is supporting too much snow and ice weight:

  • Fresh snow: 10–12 inches of new snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so you could have up to 4 feet of new snow before the roof will become stressed.
  • Packed snow: 3–5 inches of old snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so anything more than 2 feet of old snow could be too much for your roof to handle.
  • Total accumulated weight: 2 feet of old snow and 2 feet of new snow could weigh as much as 60 lb per square foot of roof space, which is beyond the typical snow load capacity of most roofs.
  • Ice: 1 inch of ice equals 1 foot of fresh snow.

winter roofing experts

Snow Removal May be Necessary to Avoid Roof Collapse

“If you are in the “danger zone” …or if the loads you estimate based on the thickness of the various types of snow and ice exceed 20–25 psf, you should consider removing snow from your roof. For safe removal that won’t endanger you or damage your roof, use a snow rake with a long extension arm that will allow you to remove the snow while standing on the ground or hire a snow removal contractor” (Disaster Safety). The risk of snow and ice accumulation and the danger it poses to your roofing system is not something to ignore or take lightly. A roof collapse is a serious event and can lead to loss of property and possessions and can even result in loss of life!  It is not a risk that you should take!

Stay Dry Roofing is Here to Help

To get the best wintertime roofing care and to find out more about what you can do to reduce your risk of snow and ice accumulation this season, contact us today!  Stay Dry Roofing is ready to help you with all of your roofing needs and now is the time to have your roof inspected and damage dealt with before the winter chill sets in and the snow and ice begin to accumulate. Contact our team now for a consultation appointment and to learn more about protecting your roofing system from snow and ice damage this winter!

winter roof care in Indianapolis

Tips for Safe Removal of Snow From Your Roof

During the winter months, snow can accumulate on the roof of your home and if it gets too deep and heavy, it can cause problems for your home. The removal of snow from your roof is something that needs to be undertaken only with careful planning and consideration. Most of the time, you are better off leaving the snow on the roof of it is not too heavy or causing any problems- this is because there are certain risks involved with removing snow and ice and the risk of damaging property or injuring someone during the process. But if you do have to get the snow off the roof, here are a few important tips for leaning the roof of snow this season:

ice and snow problems on roofsDon’t use high powered machines or mechanical snow removal equipment because there is too high a risk of damaging the roof and this outweighs any benefits the speed could bring.

Don’t use sharp tools to break up ice and heavy snow packs. Tools like picks and metal rakes and shovels can treat shingles- it is best to use plastic and chip away at the snowpack slowly.

Do make sure you take the time to remove any drifted snow piles before you go on the roof- first at any of the key building elevation change and then at parapets and near any equipment.

Do remember that you need to remove any snow that might be remaining after you have cleared things off during the removal of snow from your roof.

remove snow and ice from roofing systemsDo make sure that as you are working to remove snow from your roof that you do so in the direction of the roof’s angles and slopes in order to prevent uneven snow loading and weight.

Don’t stockpile snow on the roof. Don’t push and pile then push and pile again- work in on a strip and push the snow all the way off then go and do the next pass the same way.

Do dispose of removed snow to prevent it from piling up to the roof line. Proper distribution of cleared snow is an important part of the removal of snow from your roof.

Do keep snow from piling up around fire escapes, ventilation areas, AC or heating units, and other structures. This is one of the tips for cleaning the roof of snow many don’t think about.

Do require any contractors you work with to use safety equipment and to follow all codes and regulations from OSHA and the EPA and other governing entities.

winter roofing damageDo have someone remain on the ground as a spotter as well as to help ensure pedestrians and vehicles are not in the danger zone and are now hit by falling snow or ice.

Do be mindful of ice as you work in the removal of snow from your roof. Black ice can cause slips and falls and icicles falling even a foot from the roof can cause serious injury.

Do be ready for roof snow to come loose and slide off when using a roof rake. Make sure you stay a safe distance away from the eaves and well beyond the sliding radius.

Don’t forget to remember there maybe skylights, vent pipes, electrical boxes, and other items and structures that may be obscured by the snow that you don’t want to walk on or hit.

roof maintenance in the winterWhen it comes to winter home care chores, the removal of snow from your roof is one of the most dreaded and also the riskiest of them all. If you need help dealing with snow accumulating on your roof, follow these handy tips for cleaning the roof of snow and give us a call. Our team of roof care experts here at Stay Dry Roofing can help keep you and your family and your home safe all winter long. Call us today for a consultation!

preparing for winter roofing needs

Winter Roof Care in Indianapolis

As the cooler weather descends and snow begins to accumulate on the roof, there is a lot that homeowners need to think about. One of the biggest chores in the winter is making sure the roof survives the brutal effects this time of year can have on the home. But what are the signs that you may be facing a potential winter headache with your roof? Here at Stay Dry Roofing, we know the warning signs most often seen this time of year. If you stay on the lookout for these three key warning signs you will be in good shape for winter roof care:

Snow Accumulation

removing snow from the roofGood winter roof care starts before the snows even begin to fall and ends after the snows have fully melted away. When the snow gets too thick on the roof it can cause problems. Snow gets heavy and can quickly pack down into dangerous snow packs that can easily damage the roof and when these snow packs get too heavy they can even be too much strain for the support struts of the roofing system.  Also, heavy sections of this snow accumulation are prone to suddenly giving way and sliding off the roof. This can damage the roof by tearing off shingles and gouging holes into the roof and it can also tear off gutters and falling snow packs can injure people or pets and damage vehicles and other possessions. So snow accumulation has to be kept under control!

Icicles on Gutters and Eves

ice dam damgersIcicles are another warning sign the winter roof care is needed. They may look beautiful in the morning with the sun setting them aglow but if your roof has massive icicle spikes forming along the gutters and eaves then you should take note. This is a major warning sign for the formation of an ice dam, possibly the biggest threat to the roof and your home as well in the winter. These heavy patches of ice will put undue stress on the supports of the roof and can also cause severe water damage when they melt. They also make the roof slippery and unsafe if anyone tried to go up to clear off snow after a massive snowstorm. If you suspect you have ice dams forming you need to call in the Stay Dry Roofing experts and let us help you safely remove the threat!

Water Damage Inside

winter roof careWhen the roof has been compromised in some way and has missing shingles, damaged struts, or compromised lining, the interior of your home can be at great risk for water damage as the winter season ends. As the warmer weather comes, ice and snow will begin to melt and run off your roof. If the water runs over damaged areas of the roof it can seep into your home and cause water leaks. If water finds its ways into your home a lot of damage can be done very quickly because it can affect the supports in the attic, your celling our walls, it can leak down into the floorboards, and leaks in the ceiling often end up dropping onto other possessions such as furniture or electronics. Call our emergency roofing repair team if you discover you have leaks caused by winter snow and ice damage!

Contact Us For Winter Roof Care

The best way to avoid these winter roofing hazards is to have the professional team here at Stay Dry Roofing help you with all aspects of your roof care and maintenance.  If you need repairs, give us a call, we will handle it for you!  Contact us today to get started on your winter roof care plan!

preparing roofs for winter

Ice Dams and Ice Formation

While some homeowners in certain states experience home hazards like flooding and hurricanes, and others deal with earthquakes or tornadoes on a regular basis, much of the country faces a major threat every winter. In the northern states, blizzards, freezing rain storms, heavy snowfalls, hail and ice, and subzero temperatures can cause havoc on even the best-built homes.  Understanding how ice dams and ice formation affects your home, particularly the roof, will make it easier to see what your best options are for dealing with ice dams if you experience them this season.

What is an ice dam and how does it form?

Ice damsIce dams are one of the major telltale signs that a homeowner is suffering from poor roof performance. Snow accumulation and large ice dams can severely damage your roof and basically form when ridges of ice and icicles form on the lower part of the roof as thawing ice and snow from higher on the roof run down and refreeze at the edge of the roof. Although ice dams and icicles that accompany them create beautiful shimmering sights that can be eye-catching, they can be very dangerous – to both the homeowner trying to clear the ice and to the roof as it bears all that heavy weight. Damage from ice dams could cost up to several thousand dollars in roof repairs and could also result in serious injury or even death if the ice sheets suddenly give way and hit someone standing below.

ice damn on the roofThree things have to be present in order for an ice dam to form: snow, heat that will melt the snow, and cold which will refreeze it. Snow will accumulate on a roof from storms and regular snow falls. If the attic of the home is not well insulated, the heat from the home will warm up the roof enough to melt that snow cover. The melted water trickles down the roof and can leak into the shingles. It will also begin to puddle at the lower edges of the roof where it will form ice sheets. The melted water will refreeze which can split and damage shingles and add to the ice accumulation. As this process continues, the ice builds up thicker and thicker and it can eventually destroy the roof components if left for too long.

What to do if you have an ice dam?

major ice dam damageLarge icicles that form from the gutters and the eves are often one of the first signs of an ice dam.  While they can form just from a temporary warming and then cooling of temperatures, large and long icicles will form only from with ice dams and massive ice blocks. Ice dams and ice formation go hand in hand and abnormal ice formations will indicate that you may be dealing with ice dams. Another sign of ice dam accumulation is water leaking through the windows or ceilings.

winter roof maintenanceThe best way to deal with an ice dam is to begin working on removing the snow. Us a special snow rake to begin raking snow down off the roof while standing on the ground. Never walk on a snow-covered roof- the risk of a slip and falls are too great and the results can be deadly. Make sure that if you need to get up higher on a level with the roof that you work on a ladder. Also, do not put rock salt or sodium chloride on your roof to try and melt the snow- it will get rid of the snow but the salt and chloride will be left behind and will damage your shingles and any that falls to the ground with the meltwater will kill the grass and plants below. Potassium chloride or calcium chloride are the only options that are safe to use on your roof to speed up the ice melting. Removing an ice dam on your own is often risky for a homeowner and can be quite dangerous. It is best that you hire a professional to remove snow and ice from your roof so that is can be done safely.

Contact us at Stay Dry Roofing

Here at Stay Dry Roofing, we are committed to helping all of our customers with their winter roof care and maintenance. Understanding how ice dams and ice formation affects your roof is an important step in keeping your home and your family safe this winter. For answers to all of your winter roofing questions and for help dealing with ice dams give us a call! We are here for you in any season!

ice dam roof damage

Dealing With Ice Dams

Dealing with Ice Dams Immediately is Important!

ice dam roof damageWhen it comes to taking care of their homes, there are many concerns home owners face in the winter. For roofing issues, the biggest challenge is dealing with the formation of ice dams. Stay Dry Roofing in Indianapolis looks at what they do and how dealing with ice dams in a timely manner can save you from serious gutter or roof repair, or even premature roof replacement. Read More

winter trouble for roofs

Snow on the Roof: What You Should Know

Snow on the Roof: Risks to be Aware Of

winter trouble for roofsSnow on the roof is a common sight in the winter. Many charming photos make it look so pretty, yet it is a serious risk faced by homeowners and business owners alike. During a big winter snow storm, people are asked to take shelter and take steps to protect themselves and their homes. But how can you trust your safety inside should your roof not be able to hold all the added weight of the snow and ice that forms during a big storm or heavy snow fall? If not addressed in time, heavy snow on the roof can result in the need for major roof repair or roof replacement at best or roof collapse at worst.

We here at Stay Dry Roofing in Indianapolis want to pass on valuable information to our customers while we’re in the deepest part of winter storm season. We can help you avoid major winter trouble for roofs, and keep you and your family safe and warm this winter season!

The Main Risks of Too Much Snow on the Roof

Too Much Weight.

Signs that your house be at risk from bearing the weight too much snow on the roof are:

  • Visible sagging in the roof that can be seen from inside the home, or in the attic, as well as being seen from outside on the ground.
  • Noises coming from the roof, like creaks or pops that are often continuous and are not associated with winds or other factors.
  • Leaks in ceilings can be signals of cracking and damage to the shingles, supports, beams, and overall structure due to excessive amounts of snow on the roof.
  • Ice and snow begins to slide off in large sheets and fall to the ground during the slight thawing that occurs during the season: an example of just one winter trouble for roofs.

Inattention to Proper Maintenance.

While flat or low-pitched roofing is at more risk, pitched roofs are also vulnerable. Roof failure from heavy snow and ice is one of the main sources of winter trouble for roofs. Preventative seasonal care during warmer months goes a long way in avoiding big problems after strong winter storms. It is important to stay on top of scheduled maintenance and necessary repairs during the warmer months, because it is much harder and much more risky to do repair work during snowy and icy conditions.

There always seems to be something around that can potentially damage your roof but this is particularly true of the winter months. You have put a lot of time, money, and energy into making your home to make it the best that it can be, so you need to take care of it from top to bottom, especially during inclement weather that can damage it. Proper preparation is important to make sure your roof is ready for what winter can throw at it.

There are many dangers associated with excessive accumulation of snow on the roof, which can also promote too much ice buildup. Putting off vital maintenance can put you at risk for roof collapse, damaged shingles or tiles, the formation of ice dams, torn flashing or gutters, water leaks, cracks and holes in the roofing, and other issues that can weaken or damage your roof. All it takes is a small issue and it can quickly grow out of hand, especially with the natural cycle of small thaws and refreezes that happen during the winter.

These reasons are why it’s important to do proper up-keep on your roof during the warmer months. The roof will be far better prepared to deal with the brutality of winter, especially during more severe storms.

Best Options for Keeping Snow on the Roof at a Minimum

Stay Dry Roofing provides professional snow removal services to ensure that your roof won’t have any issues with ice dams, leaks, or too much weight. Snow on the roof may look pretty in the pictures, but those of us who live in it know the dangers it can pose. That’s why our team of roofing experts goes to work to help you avoid the common winter troubles for roofs during the winter season.

We can help ensure everything is taken care of before the snows come, so your roof and your home in general are properly prepared to handle winter’s icy touch.

Roof Repair and Maintenance

Stay Dry Roofing is locally owned and operated, so we know what it takes to care for Indianapolis area roofs. Contact Us at (317) 308-7773 today to get a FREE QUOTE ON SNOW REMOVAL throughout our service area. We can help you with your plans for making sure your roof is ready for winter snow this season with proper winter preparation.

Make sure that snow on the roof is not something you are unprepared for. Let Stay Dry Roofing be your go-to team this winter, and we will help you deal with those pesky issues like snow and ice accumulation. You can stop worrying about that winter trouble for roofs and focus on having fun this season with your family and friends. Call us today to see how we can help you out and how we can help you deal with snow on the roof! You will be glad you did!

winter-preperstion-indinapolis-roofing

Winter Preparation Work For Your Roof

winter-roof-repairHomeowners put a great deal of time and money into preparing their homes and keeping them up so they look good and maintain their value. From top to bottom there are many areas that require attention and maintenance throughout the year, but one of the most overlooked is the roofing system. The roof that covers our home is an investment, and a very important one that that as without it everything in your home- including yourself and your family- risks being exposed to and damaged by the elements. A good roof can cost a good bit of money to install and it costs money to maintain it throughout the year, but it is an investment into the future value and protection of our home. Just as you would do any good investment that you make for the future, maintenance and attention Throughout each season there is particular work that is required so your roof looks its finest and serves it purpose for as long as possible. Winter preparation work for your roof is possibly the most important because snow, ice, and cold temperatures can wreak havoc on a roof that is not well prepared to handle it. Minor roof damage and small issues might not seem like a big deal at the time. but if left alone and allowed to continue unaddressed- especially during the brutal winter months- these small little annoyances and inconveniences will quickly spiral out of control until they become much bigger and much more costly problems. This is why making sure your roof is ready for winter snow is one of the most important steps you as a homeowner can take now to survive winter as unscathed as possible.

Winter Snows and the Hidden Dangers

There always seems to be something around that can potentially damage your roof but this is particularly true of the winter months. During periods of extremely heavy snowfall, snow and ice build-up may exceed the load capacity of your roof. This is especially true for homes with older roofs that are flat or have a low pitch. Proper preparation is important to make sure your roof is ready for what winter can throw at it. Snow on your roof can, put you at risk for weight bearing issues damaged shingles or tiles, the formation of ice dams, water leaks, and other issues that can weaken or damage your roof. These reasons are why it’s important to remove snow from your roof, especially during more severe storms. Stay Dry Roofing provides professional snow removal services to ensure that your roof won’t have any issues with ice dams, leaks, or too much weight. We can also help you ensure everything else it taken care of before the  snows come so your roof and our home in general is properly prepared to handle winter’s icy touch. Call us today to get a free estimate on snow removal throughout our service areas and we can help you with your plans for making sure your roof is ready for winter snow this season with proper winter preparation work for your roof.

 

With this in mind, here are  the roofing issues that need to be fixed sooner rather than later with the help of the Stay Dry Roofing team:

 

Damaged Tiles or Shingles

The tiles or shingles of the roof are the most visible aspect of the roofing system and is what everyone can see when they first look at your home’s roof. You want this to be solid and secure not just for aesthetic reasons, though that is the main reason most homeowners ever check the shingles. One or two cracked tiles or loose/missing shingles doesn’t seem like a big deal as they are not easily seen in most cases so what is the big deal so long as the rest of the roof is in good shape.  Right? Well not so much, because these little gaps and cracks and opening that are made by broken or missing shingles and tiles can cause major problems or your roof, especially when the snows begin to fall. Damaged tiles or shingles make your roof vulnerable to leaks and makes it more likely that more broken and damaged and missing shingles will develop before the season is over, which can then lead to water damage and leaks inside your home! When snows accumulate they add weight to your roof and as the snow and ice loads slide off the roof it can tear shingles and damage tiles. These missing cover areas can allow melting snow water to seep into your home and cause a great deal of damage. Stay Dry Roofing handles all types of roofing materials and roof styles so we can take care of any minor roof repair needs quickly and easily and save you from massive issues caused by these minor problems getting out of hand. When it comes to winter preparation work for your roof this is the one area that most homeowners already know about but will often ignore or fail to take care before the snow fall comes.

 

Snow Removal Preparation

Snow removal is an important part of taking care of your roof in the winter. It keeps the weight from growing to be too much for the roof and it an also help prevent issues with ice dams and water damage during snow melts.  However, it can be dangerous if it’s not done correctly- slips and falls and damage to roofing structures are the most common concerns. That’s why it’s best to have our professionals handle your snow removal rather than trying to do it yourself and put your own safety and the integrity of your home at risk. Many homeowners fail to have roofing experts set up ahead of time to handle their snow removal needs. Finding someone who can get to you during the busy times after massive snow falls and winter storms can be a challenge so it is best to always have someone set up and scheduled to come out ahead of time. Our snow removal methods that we use help to ensure the safety of our workers and also ensure that we won’t damage your roof. We can help with this important part of winter preparation work for your roof so you can focus on making sure your roof is ready for winter snow!

 

Uneven or Broken Flashing

The flashing of your roof is typically made up of plastic, sheet metal, or composite materials and is the part of the structure that helps control the water flow off the roof. It is durable but also flexible to follow the flow of your roof line and keep water from puddling up in the roof and is what keeps it away from openings and natural problem areas on your roof. It typically is found around the chimney or at the joint seams of two roofing points especially on the valley peaks and in the roof slopes. Flashing needs to be in tact and free of dings, tears, and needs to be firmly attached or it will not be able to do its job. Any loose edges can allows water to get under the shingles and into the roofing struts and other structures where it can rot wood and cause manor problems. Broken or missing flashing sections can get snagged when snow and ice shift on the roof and tear more flashing and even shingles and under- layers of the roofing off in the process.  If you can see any issue or problem with the flashing, such as a break or corrosion, you need to get the flashing replaced immediately in order to avoid water damage. In most cases, flashing can be easily replaced within a day, so there is not excuse to not have it fixed ahead of the winter weather.  It is a small step to take to make sure your roof is ready for winter snow and ice.

 

Overhanging Branches and Limbs

When it comes to winter preparation work for your roof this is one of the things most homeowners never even think about. Landscape is a concern of the summer and spring months right? Yes it is the main focus of warm weather home maintenance but it is also important to not neglect your trees as the winter weather looms large. Your trees will likely be dormant during the cold weather unless you have evergreen trees but any trees growing near your home need to be inspected and prepared for the winter. Check the trees for any dead or damage branches and limbs-e specially any that hang over the home or come near the roof. As snow and ice builds,branches can get very heavy and can easily snap and break and come crashing down. Image the damage a large tree limb could do if it falls on the roof and then double that due to the weight of snow and ice and the resulting water damage that will come when that snow and ice gets into your home. So do not skip the trees and make sure you cut back as much as you can and keep branches and limbs away from your home. We here at Stay Dry Roofing have seen many instances of roof damage that resulted from limbs crashing down during a blizzard or after an ice storm passes through. Don’t take the chance- get it taken care of now while you still have the time!

Contact Stay Dry Roofing Today

Snow accumulation on the roof can lead to ice dams, heavy snow loads, and structural damage to your roof. Here are some of the cases you may find yourself facing if you neglect to prepare your roof properly for winter snow and ice:

  • Warm air that originates from inside your house goes up into the attic, there it comes into contact with the roof eves and the roof itself, causing the lowest layer of snow or ice on the roof to melt making the snow and ice packs shift and side off the roof.
  • Melting of the snow and ice on the roof, whether caused by warming of the temperatures outside or warmer air from inside the house, can cause water to trickle down though to the roof and seep into any cracks or missing shingle or tile spaces where it can get into the eves and into the attic itself.
  • Repeated thaws and freeze throughout the season can gradually build up until a “dam” of ice forms all along the roof line, usually starting in the valleys or at the edge of the roof near the gutters and drain spouts.
  • When ice dams form and grow large enough melting water collects behind it and forms a small pool where it may not always freeze right away due to the insulating nature of snow- the water rises under shingles and finds the cracks and holes that allow it to leak into your home.
  • The weight of snow and ice on the roof can damage the roof,and it cannot be seen until the snow and ice melts and begins the slide off- usually by this time the damage has been there for a while and has lead to secondary damage due to exposure to melting snow water.
  • In extreme cases if the weight of he ice and snow gets to be too much the structure of the roof itself can be weakened and cave ins can happen, specifically after rapid accumulation of snow or ice storms that lat down thick layers of ice.

 

This is why winter preparation work for your roof is such an important maintenance chore that homeowners cannot afford to skimp out on. If you need help making sure your roof is ready for winter snow give us a call and discoverer the Stay Dry Roofing difference for yourself! We are proud to serve our community and the surrounding area and we stand by our commitment to quality and excellence. Call us today to set up your consultation before the first snows begin to fall!