The roof over your head is the single most important part of your home – it shelters you and protects you from the elements, it needs to be sturdy enough to withstand strong winds, sloped just right to allow for watershed, and in areas that get any amount of snowfall, it must be rugged enough to bear additional weight.
In general, the pitch of the roof is directly proportional to the extent of precipitation an area receives. Homes built in regions with little precipitation tend to have lower pitched roofs, while homes built in regions that are more susceptible to rain and snowfall have steeper pitched roofs so the rain and snow has someplace to go.
No matter what the pitch, what style, or what material your roof is constructed of, there are dangers that every homeowner needs to be aware of….after all, it’s the roof over your head we’re talking about – one of life’s basic necessities.
1 Tree limbs and branches
If there are trees surrounding your home, it’s always a wise idea to trim branches or limbs that overhang your roof – even if they’re not touching your roof, once they’re wet or covered with snow they’ll become weighted down and heavy, and could lead to limbs snapping off and potentially crashing through your roof, causing property damage and possibly injuring anyone inside. If you notice limbs or branches that touch your roof only during windy days, pay attention – these can also cause damage by scratching, tearing or puncturing the surface of your roof – which can lead to leaks, and eventually, structural damage.
Poor ventilation is another danger to be aware of. Adequate ventilation is essential to proper roof function, allowing fresh air into the attic, and forcing stale, moist air out. If the ventilation isn’t adequate, you can expect common problems like mold, mildew, rust, soggy decking, heavy icicles and ice dams. It’s critical to properly ventilate (and insulate) attic spaces to avoid these pitfalls.
3 Rooftop snow management
(Shown above: Extreme roof snow)
When it comes to protecting your roof, snow is another factor that should be considered. Snow-capped homes seem almost picture-perfect in their charm, but snow is extremely heavy, and can come barreling off your roof suddenly and without warning, causing what’s known as a roof avalanche. A roof avalanche can cause irreparable damage to lower roof areas, gutters, plumbing vents, skylights, pets, cars, landscaping, and most importantly, people.
One of the ways you can practice preventative maintenance is by installing snow guards. Snow guards are rooftop devices that allow snow and ice to drop off in small amounts or allow snow and ice to melt completely before falling to the ground, preventing the sudden release of snow and ice, helping to protect those areas below. (That’s our PP503 three-pipe system shown below, doing the job it was engineered to do).
The team here at Alpine SnowGuards in Morrisville, Vermont designs, engineers and manufactures over 60 styles of snow management systems. We have a system for every roof type (even solar panels!), commercial or residential, new or retrofit, as well as many custom designs. Installing snow guards is a quick and easy solution to a very common issue.
Preventative maintenance is something we do for our health….why not do the same for the roofs that were built to protect us?
We keep snow in its place
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Alpine SnowGuards® designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do.
(Images from Alpine SnowGuards archives, JB Roofing, Home Interior Design Ideas and Paul Bunyan Tree Service)