Winter and spring bring snow to Colorado and this snowy season has been a doozy. Thousands of homeowners across the Front Range are watching large amounts of snow pile up on their roof and worrying if their home can take it. The bad news is abundant volumes of snow are bad for your home, but the good news is most snow is good for your home and roof. Let’s learn why snow on your roof is a good thing and when you should worry.
Snow Acts as Insulation
If you’re trapped in the winter conditions, you’re instructed to dig underneath the snow for safety. That’s because the air trapped in snow is an excellent insulator. A coating of snow is not your roof’s enemy – it’s extra insulation. Snow can help regulate attic temperatures to help you avoid condensation, drips, and other issues that come with out of control attic temperatures.
Use Frost and Snow for an Insulation Test
You can use frost and small snow amounts to judge your attic space’s insulation. Look at your neighbors’ roofs – do they have frost? If you neighbors have frost on their roofs and you don’t (on the same side of the roof) you could have poor insulation and ventilation. Meet with a local HVAC company if you’re having frost-less issues.
Snow for UV Damage
Ever heard of reflective roofs? Snow on the roof provides a barrier to reflect possible UV damage, acting as a reflective or ‘cool’ barrier. Limiting solar exposure even for a few weeks annually over several years can add several months and possibly years to your roof’s useful life in the end. Let the snow stay.
When Is It Too Much Snow?
Because Colorado experiences heavy snow and winter storms, modern building code requires Colorado homes to handle it. Most homes can take a surprisingly large amount of snow before they begin to compromise. Homeowners should only clear snow off their roof when it’s putting their homes in immediate danger or if your local jurisdiction has warned you to clear snow. If you do need to clear snow, reach out to a reputable roofing contractor first – they have the training and tools to safely clear your roof – you don’t.
You might worry when snow is piling on your roof but as long as your home’s not creaking – most snow is good for your roof. Use the frost test and watch for condensation to keep your home happy and regulated this winter and spring.