Congratulations for surviving the extreme winter weather!
Before celebrating, it would be prudent to assess the structural state of your roof. You should check relatively quickly as some home insurance policies only will cover you if the damage is reported within a relatively short time frame (some policies have a 6 months maximum time for reporting damage) and some may not be visible from the exterior until much later. As the snow melts an ice dam may form and lead to moisture penetrating the inside walls.
Canada requires roofs to handle a minimum snow load of 21 pounds per square foot. This averages out to about 2-2.5 feet of packed snow! After our little blizzard, some homes could have this much snow piling up. As the rain comes and the snow becomes wet, the weight on the roof will increase.
If you noticed any of these signs below, your roof could be in danger of collapse.
- Sagging ceiling
- Cracks appearing in ceilings or interior walls
- Roof leaks
- Unusual cracking or popping sounds
- Doors and windows that won’t close or are hard to open
- Utility pipes showing signs of bending or warping
Prevent roof collapse and other damage to your home through maintenance and other preventative measures including
- keeping your roof clear of snow (don’t hesitate to contact a professional!)
- keeping drains, gutters, and downspouts clear of debris
- avoiding piling snow against downspouts.
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. When the meltwater reaches the frozen surface, ice accumulates, growing a barrier that impedes further passage of meltwater off the roof. Ice dams may result in leaks through the roofing material, possibly resulting in damaged ceilings, walls, roof structure and insulation, damage or injury when the ice dam falls off or from attempts to remove ice dams.
A note on snow removal:
“Snow should be cleared in a cross direction to the roof trusses, Brideau said. “This will reduce the stress on all the trusses at the same time, rather than reducing stress from only one truss.” Drifted snow should be removed first. (On multi-level roofs, this will be on the lower roofs). “And it’s extremely important to remove snow evenly from both sides of the roof to avoid concentrating a load in one area. Failure to follow these steps could cause enough stress to the roof to cause it to collapse. Completely remove the snow from the roof as you clear it.” Brideau also advises caution when removing snow from one section to avoid travelling over and compacting snow on adjacent sections.” (WorkSafeNB).
Be careful out there! Protect your home and yourself, hire a licensed contractor to help you with any home maintenance and especially when it comes to your roof.
If you are thinking about removing the snow from your roof yourself check out this tool. It protects the shingles on your roof and allows removal from the ground. A much safer option!
Coverage for ice and snow damage can vary depending on your insurance plan. We recommend checking your policy if you have concerns and/or questions about your coverage and how to claim. We recommend everyone to inspect their roofs and trusses to ensure their homes survived #Snowmageddon2019
Contact your local insurance company and/or the links below for more information!