Snow-covered roofs pose risks ahead of heavy rain, warming weather

Here’s how the experts say you can protect your home

Snow-covered roofs pose risks ahead of heavy rain, warming weather
Homes all across Northeast Ohio still sport roofs covered in snow.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - If you’re noticing a lot of snow piling up on your roof, you might want to grab a tool to scrape it off. Roofing experts say it could pose big risks to your home, especially as Northeast Ohio prepares for a big warm-up, followed by another potential freeze.

Snowy rooftops pose risks ahead of heavy rain, warming weather

"The snow will melt, slide down, and freeze when it gets to a lower spot. That's what causes the icicles and you can actually see the ice dams forming in the gutters," said Tom Schlund, the owner of Franciscus Incorporated.

His team of roofers has been hard at work the last several days, helping people get the excess snow off.

Homes all across Northeast Ohio still sport roofs covered in snow.
Homes all across Northeast Ohio still sport roofs covered in snow.

Cleveland 19 News asked Tom Schlund: What exactly is an ice dam?

"The gutter freezes, and then ice builds up on top of the gutter. The heat loss from inside melts the snow and then water starts ponding behind the ice dam," he said. "So what our goal is, when water starts damming behind it, it's probably coming into your house, we want to cut channels into the ice dam to allow the water to flow off."

Illustration provided by Franciscus Incorporated
Illustration provided by Franciscus Incorporated (Franciscus Incorporated)

He says if you live in a one-story home, you can purchase tools that will help you get the snow off by yourself, but for two-story houses, it's a bigger job.

Still, he says, no matter where you live, it’s not something you should ignore. Water leaks could cause serious damage to your home, including electrical problems.

"All that weight, the sooner you get it off your roof, the better off your roof and your gutters are gonna be," said Schlund.

While you're at it, you might want to keep an eye on the bald patches where snow has melted much more rapidly than ohter areas of your roof. That could be a sign your insulation isn't doing the job.

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