If you haven’t already heard, the Denver metro area is preparing for a whopper of a snowstorm. Though models are never 100% accurate and totals vary, the Denver metro area is currently expected to receive approximately one and a half to three feet of snow from Friday night into Monday morning.
Denver is no stranger to snow, but totals into the feet are atypical even for decades-long Denver homeowners. Large amounts of snow and ice puts stress on your entire home and especially your roof, so is there anything you can do to take care of your roof before the snow hits? Should you attempt to clear your roof if the snow gets too heavy?
Let’s learn what Denver residents can do for their roof in the upcoming storm and when you need to act on snow loads. First thing is first:
Do NOT attempt to climb on and shovel your roof during the snowstorm. It is both dangerous and almost never necessary as we’ll learn below.
What You Can Do Before the Storm
There isn’t much Denver homeowners can do to prepare for the storm except for removing debris from the roof and gutter system. Cleaning your roof and gutters will help things thaw more evenly and will help you avoid large buildups.
Other than cleaning debris from the roof and gutters (and downspouts!) there’s not much to do except make some hot cocoa and watch the snow fall. Even if you can’t get your gutters cleaned you shouldn’t worry too much.
Why Large Snow Loads Aren’t a Large Problem
As we stated earlier, the Denver area is no stranger to large-scale snowstorms and code enforcement officials know this. Any home built within the past several decades must meet strict requirements for snow loads and the amount of stress a roofing system can handle. Homes built in Highlands Ranch for example have much heftier requirements for snow load than a home On Highland Ranch Blvd in Florida.
Though a few feet of wet, heavy snow looks intimidating, in reality your home can handle much more. 99.9% of Denver homes can endure heavy snow without issues as reflected in the infamous 2003 snowstorm.
Only in rare circumstances do snow loads become a problem and only for certain homes. Let’s figure out when too much snow is well, too much.
Signs Your Roof is Under Stress
Again, most (99%) homeowners won’t have anything to worry about. The real problems are homes built before modern building code (100+ year old homes) and those built without permits. Fortunately, even most of these type homes won’t have issues with large snow loads. If you do live in an older (or uninspected) home watch for:
- Audible stress – loud creaking or popping
- Visible Stress – Bowing attic support, sudden bowing in cracks or walls
- Water getting through
What to Do If Your Home is in Danger
If your home is visibly or audibly showing signs of collapse you should:
Call a Roofing Company – Most roofing companies will be closed during the weekend including Roofcorp. You might have to call around for someone to address immediate concerns.
Attempt to Remove Snow (From Ground) – You can attempt to remove snow while standing on the ground and only if it’s safe. Before the storm you can purchase large squeegee style roof rakes tied to ropes that can be used tor remove snow while you stay safely on the ground.
CAUTION: That snow has to come down somewhere – it better not be on to of you. Always watch where the snow is coming down to avoid injury.
After the Storm
Other than check your gutters and downspouts, there’s not much to do for the coming snowstorm except relax and enjoy it. There are signs of deep stress to look for, but most Denver homeowners can relax with tough roofs built to endure literal tons of snow.
Check out the local weather report for further developments.