Winter Roof Inspection, Safety Precautions & Tips

Many Canadians take their roof for granted. We see the damage caused by snow and ice to the roads and often fail to draw parallels to the potential damage suffered by our roof at this time of year. This is why it is very important to have your roof inspected before the cold weather hits for peace of mind and to save you from costly repairs in future.

A fresh, lofty snow can add 20 lbs. of weight per cubic foot, but wet snow, or partially thawed and refrozen snow, can add as much 60 lbs. per cubic foot of weight. In our northern climate, our roofs are designed to carry some of this weight but the best practice is to have heavy snows promptly removed. To prevent damage to the roof and reduce the risk of injury to worker, snow removal is best left to the pros. If you do decide to inspect your roof without the help of a professional, ensure the necessary safety precautions are in place.

To help you plan and prepare to minimize the risk of roof damage from snow loading, the following checklist provides some guidance:

  • Inspect the roof structure for damage and deterioration. Make sure your shingles are all intact and firmly attached watching for shingles that could be cracked or damaged. Look for any holes, cracks or tears in metal flashing – that is, the strips of metal on your roof that help protect it, and make sure your roof vents are in good condition. Having a professional fall inspection ensures that repairs are completed prior to any snow or ice accumulation.
  • Remove any debris from roof drains and downspouts. Clogged drains can cause water pooling from snow melts and can cause leaks within your building.
  • Determine the maximum safe snow depth for the roof based on its load capacity.
  • Develop a plan to identify who is responsible for snow/ice removal and ensure they are trained on appropriate snow removal techniques and equipment.

There are also a number of benefits to having a roof inspection for winter including:

  • Avoiding costly and unplanned repairs.
  • Potential home buyers will feel more secure knowing that the roof is sturdy and safe, and could help boost the property value for your home.
  • Professional guidance – find a certified roof inspector in your area.
  • Help your roof work more efficiently – make sure that snow, ice and hail stay off of your roof so that they don’t linger causing damage.
  • Getting on a schedule helps make it a part of your routine – most experts suggest that you have your roof inspected at least once a year. Knowing that you will have one done every fall (in anticipation of the winter) makes it less likely that you will forget to have it done.

With 60 years in the residential roofing and siding business, backed by a 5-year workmanship warranty and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, you can trust A. Clark Roofing & Siding LP. for your roofing and siding needs. We are fully licensed and insured and carry full WCB coverage for all our technicians. If you have any questions regarding roof repair or our services, call us at 780.465.7571.

For more information: How to winterize your Roof

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