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Winter Time Roof Safety

A few minutes outside during a biting Chicago winter’s day is enough to make anyone want to escape the frigged outdoors, and hang out inside where it’s warm and safe. However, if your roof isn’t cared for properly, your home might not be the cozy sanctuary you thought it was. Building codes are set in place to address the amount of snow a roof should be able to handle. More contemporary homes are built to these standards, but older homes, especially those with flat roofs, might have been built under different codes. Because of this, they are more likely to collapse.

The 30 lb Rule

If your roof was designed with modern building codes, they should be able to handle snow pile ups just fine, unless the snow exceeds 30 lbs per square foot. Older buildings might not be able to even withstand this amount of pressure. It’s always good to get up on a ladder and brush excess snow off of your roof, whenever possible.

“Dead load”

Whether it’s snow or additional HVAC equipment, the more weight that your roof has to support, the more likely it is to collapse. You don’t have much time to consult a professional before a big snow storm, but if your planning to put Christmas decorations, antennas, or other weighty devices on your roof, make sure you speak to an expert before proceeding.

Drains and Downspouts

These roof areas can easily become frozen, causing melting snow to be unable to adequately drain from the roof. Although it’s difficult to keep these areas unfrozen, try chipping away at the accessible frozen areas whenever possible. Simple routine maintenance of your drains will help prevent your roof from collapsing or leaking.

What Your House Will Tell You About Its Faulty Roof

There are a few physical signs you might notice around your home, indicating that your roof might buckle. Obviously, if one of these things happens it doesn’t mean your roof is going to cave in, but if you start noticing several of these things, it might be time to call a roofing contractor.

  • Your roof is significantly sagging
  • There are many cracked or split wood members
  • Doors pop open randomly
  • Doors and windows are difficult to open
  • You hear frequent creaking or popping sounds
  • There are bowed utility pipes or conduit attached at ceiling
  • New or expanding ceiling and wall cracks

Sure, you can shovel the snow off of your roof until you’re blue in the face, but if you haven’t been pro-active about winter roof care from the start, and you’ve noticed some of the signs above, you might want to consider contacting M. Walter Roofing! We’re some of thebest roofers in Chicago – Chicago roofing contractors you can trust!