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Syracuse Roofing: Article About Winter Roof Care

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Winter storms can drop significant amounts of snow onto roofs. While this may look like an idyllic winter scene, too much snow and ice on a home's roof causes stress to the roof and the structure beneath it. In addition to snow, ice dams can form at the edge or eaves of a roof, creating potential for interior water damage. Snow and ice removal from a roof can be dangerous in slippery conditions. It is best to consult a qualified Syracuse roofing professional for winter snow and ice removal.

Fallen snow that accumulates on a roof can be very heavy. This extra weight causes stress on the roof and can result in damage if not removed. Every roof is different, and some roofs can handle more snow than others. A general rule of thumb is if more than a foot of snow has accumulated, it is time for snow removal. Roof rakes can remove some snow off of the lower portion of the roof, but shoveling is often needed to remove all the snow from the top of the roof down. It is important to remove as much of the snow as possible because melting snow can contribute to ice dams forming at the edges of the roof.

Ice dams are formed when a melting under layer runs down the roof and refreezes when it hits the air, usually at the eaves.

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The resulting freeze creates a dam that prevents drainage of melting snow. The melted snow will then pool on the roof. If left undisturbed, the resulting dam could cause roof leaks and damage to the underlayment as well as the walls of the home. This process can lead to significant damage and even mold buildup in the home.

Ice dams can be prevented by ensuring that excessive heat does not build up in the attic of the home. This heat can warm the under layer of snow, causing it to melt and flow toward the eaves. Proper ventilation of the attic and proper venting of kitchens and bathrooms through the roof, rather than into the attic, can help to reduce excessive heat buildup in the attic. Proper insulation of the roof can also prevent any attic heat from causing precipitation on the roof to melt. It is also important to be sure that excess snow is removed from the entire roof. Often, using a roof rake to remove snow will not remove snow from the upper roof. This can cause an ice dam to form at the snow line and cause roof leaks and damage.

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