If you live in the colder regions, you’ll notice that most shingle roofing will have snow guards. You might be asking yourself “What’s the use of snow guards? Can’t roofs shed snow and water by themselves?” Well yes, that is true. If you’ve noticed, most roofs have a gap from the end of the roof’s main structure towards the edge of the shingle roof. This gap is to prevent water and snow from dripping towards your house’s foundations and supporting structure.
The main reason why most homes in the colder regions of the country have a shingle roof is that it’s good at shedding snow and water. Naturally, shingle has a glossy texture that means that most debris and liquid won’t stick. The sloped and glossy texture makes it ideal in disposing of flowing water away from your roof. When water is propelling down your roof, it’s usually at a good speed that’s far from your home’s foundations.
But before we get into why snow guards are necessary, we have to first look at what could be the long-term effects of snow on your roofing system.
Although snow might not seem like much, it can still pose a threat to most roofs that are susceptible to low temperatures. Unlike water, snow doesn’t shed easily and can potentially create more problems.
The corrugated design of most metal roofing panels (save for those that use shingles) is designed to redirect the flow of water towards the appropriate areas. Ice dams will form on your roof if melted snow and water aren’t disposed of as soon as possible. When this happens, your roof will become more susceptible to leaks when water is being directed to areas that shouldn’t be there.
If roofing materials are exposed to snow and freezing temperatures, it can become brittle and more susceptible to high-energy impacts from hailstorms and people working on your roof. It is highly not recommended that roofing specialists work on roofs during winters seasons since more shingles and roofing materials recede in cold weather. This makes it harder to accurately measure a roof.
Since snow doesn’t flow as easily as water, it can accumulate on your roof if it’s low-pitched. Most roofing systems can withstand weights of more than a ton. Accumulating snow that is left unchecked for a couple of days can cause problems. In more extreme cases, your roof can cave in and collapse if your roof’s supporting beams aren’t strong enough.
Let’s talk about how snow reacts to a shingle roof. Since water naturally slides off roofs without any problem, there’s no need to worry about the shift in weight. However, if we’re talking about snow, it has different properties than water. Just like water though, it can slide off your roof. But since snow isn’t a liquid it won’t flow as easily as water, it can easily shift the weight of a roof. Quickly disposing of snow could put stress on the structure of shingle roofs. Moreover, this could cause damages to your roof’s flashing and supporting beams as they compensate for the changes in weight.
So what’s the best course of action on controlling the flow of snow? Snow guards are one of the best ways of controlling how snow much will be shed from a roof. Snow guards are one of the best ways of preventing avalanches from happening.
Investing in snow guards can help make sure that your roof is in a pristine condition when there’s heavy snowfall. It might set you back financially, but it’s a better deal than having to spend thousands of dollars on roof repair.
To summarize everything, snow guards are necessary for keeping your roof dry while also controlling the flow of snow on your roof. If you do find any damages on your flashing and on your supporting beams from the shift of weight, then it’s best to start contacting your local roofing contractor.
If you think that there are too many potential hazards in going to your roof to remove accumulated snow and ice dams, you can always commission the services of a professional roofing specialist.