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Albany Roofers: Article About Winter Weather Precautions

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Winter weather brings an array of challenges for homeowners. Busted and leaking pipes, frozen driveways and sidewalks, and drafty windows are some common ailments residences face every year. The danger posed to roofs during the winter is often overlooked. The roof is the first defense against inclement weather, and a secure one goes a long way to securing the home.

Albany roofers are familiar with the damage that ice dams, poorly insulated attic pipes and heavy snow accumulations can cause. As the area's temperatures begin to plummet, the roofing industry braces for the inevitable calls to repair the snow and ice-damaged homes. There are a few basic issues to watch leading into wintry weather.

The Albany area often experiences yearly snowfall greater than 70 inches, sometimes ranging over 100 inches. The accumulating weight of snow and ice on a roof can cause damages due to overloading. The average residential roof is equipped to handle 20 pounds of pressure per square foot. Fresh snow weighs approximately 5 pounds per foot of accumulation. Four feet of fresh snow can potentially push the limits of a roof's load capacity. The roof design of many homes leaves some areas more vulnerable to snow accumulation than others.

The roofing at Ideal Construction of Albany can assist you with any questions regarding doors or siding.

Even if total snowfall is not reaching 4 feet, some parts of a roof may experience the equivalent weight as snow settles in one area. Four inches of ice is enough to do the same damage.

Accumulating snow can lead to water leaks even in normally solid roofs. Heat escaping from the attic can melt the bottom layer of snow, leaving puddles trapped and unable to drain off the roof. Roofing shingles are overlaid to move water down off the house. The pressure from top layers of snow can push a standing puddle upward and under the shingles, allowing water to enter the home.

The freeze and thaw cycle is notorious for exposing current weaknesses in any roofing system. When snow melts or rain falls, the water settles into the most innocuous of cracks and weaknesses in the shingles. As cooler temperatures invade during the night, these water-filled cracks expand with ice, eventually leaving gaps in the shingling as the freezing and thawing continues.

Before winter weather settles in, it can be very beneficial to have the roof inspected by a professional who can forecast potential problems. Removing large accumulations of ice will keep pressure off the structure and allow water to drain off the roof. Homeowners should schedule inspections after the winter has passed to check for any new weakness before the spring rains appear.

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