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Schenectady Roofing: Article About Designing A Roof For Snow

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Choosing a roof for a snowy climate takes some special considerations. Not only does snow add to the overweight of a structure, but the formation of ice dams can also cause damage to the property. Talking with a certified Schenectady roofing professional can help homeowners choose the best roofing options for their climate and style of home, but here are some basic tips with which to get started.

In harsh weather conditions, simple roof lines are best. A basic gabled roof provides enough pitch and limited crevices for ice and snow to build up. If dormers are desired in the design, it is best to use a shed rather than a gabled style, particularly on the north side of the roof. Shed dormers allow snow and ice to slide off the roof rather than to build up in the valleys created by a gabled dormer.

Some types of materials are better than others are for differing roof pitches. For roofs with a pitch lower than 4/12, metal roofing works very well. Metal is much slicker than some other types of roofing products and allows snow and ice to slide off the roof.

The roofing contractors at Ideal Construction of Schenectady NY can answer any questions you have regarding doors or siding.

Metal roofing materials should not be applied on low-sloped roofs, however. A metal roof with a pitch less than 1/12 is likely to leak.

For pitches between 4/12 and 6/12, a rougher textured material, like asphalt shingles, will be more effective. The rougher surface will hold accumulated snow on the roof to prevent it sliding off in large chunks, which can injure people or landscaping located below. It is advisable to check the roof decking to be sure that it can hold the excess load.

For roof pitches greater than 6/12, snow will likely slide off frequently no matter what type of roofing material is used to cover the structure. In general, this is safer, as large amounts of snow or ice won't accumulate. Not all buildings can accommodate a steep pitch, however. If the structure has a lower slope, it may be necessary to take other precautions against ice damn buildup or snow avalanches. An experienced roofer will know how to protect against these hazards.

Unfortunately, there is no one tried and true answer for roofing in snowy conditions. Careful planning and researching ahead, however, can help limit or eliminate any problems with snow. Getting the roof inspected at least annually, or after a particularly heavy snowfall, can help prevent any long-term damage.

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