How Much Snow Can My Roof Hold?

How Much Snow Can My Roof Hold?

You really can have too much of a good thing! A coating of light, fluffy snow makes everything look like a beautiful winter wonderland, but start piling it on, and things can get not-so-pretty. A lot of snow not only makes shoveling and driving a pain, but can also put stress on your roof, and if enough of it piles up, leaking and damage can occur. 

But how do you know how much snow is too much for your roof to handle, and what can you do to protect your roof from snow damage? Check out our guidelines below before the next snowstorm comes calling.

How Much Snow a Roof Can Hold Depends on the Type of Roof and Type of Snow

Most residential roofs in good condition can hold 20 pounds of snow per square foot. This can vary based on your roof’s age, the materials your roof is made from, and the design of your roofline. The amount of snow that adds up to 20 pounds can vary as well, depending on whether the snow is the fluffy type or that dreaded wet and heavy kind. 

Light snow can weigh around 3 pounds per square foot, so your roof can hold several feet of it. However, wet, packed snow can weigh 21 pounds per square foot — and ice as much as 51 pounds! — which can cause collapse with only inches of accumulation. Signs your roof is straining include:

  • Creaking or popping sounds
  • Doors that become difficult to open and close 
  • Cracks in your walls 
  • Sagging, warped, water-stained, or leaking ceilings

If you spot any of these signs, it’s best to vacate your home and get some help. 

What to Do if Your Roof is Holding Too Much Snow 

On average, every 10 inches of snow equates to 5 pounds on your roof, so once a few feet accumulate, it’s a good idea to avoid any issues by removing some of that weight. However, getting on a snow and ice-covered roof is dangerous, so unless you are able to safely use a rake, broom, or specially designed roof shovel from the ground, don’t try to do this on your own! 

It’s also important to note that removing too much snow can end up causing damage to your roof, which is exactly what you were trying to avoid in the first place! When clearing snow from your roof, you should always leave a couple of inches or so behind to make sure you’re not causing any damage to your shingles.

How to Protect Your Roof From Snow Damage

To keep your roof and everyone living under it safe, you should perform regular inspections to ensure your roof is maintained well and kept in good condition before the snow flies. Once winter arrives and snow starts falling, monitor the amount of snow on your roof and be aware of any signs of trouble. 

Also, watch for the formation of ice dams along the edge of your roof and in gutters caused by melting and refreezing snow. When left unaddressed, ice dams can lead to shingle, structural, and gutter damage; leaks; wet insulation; and mold. 

If you are concerned your roof is holding too much ice and snow and you are unable to clear it from the ground, call in professionals for help. It is the safest way to avoid damage and injury.  

Worried about your roof’s ability to withstand winter weather? Contact the roofing specialists at Werner Roofing. We can provide recommendations to protect your home from snow and ice, or we can help you figure out a solution if your roof has already experienced damage. Give us a call or contact us online today to learn what we can do for you.

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

Is Your Roof Prepared for an Ice Storm?

Is Your Roof Prepared for an Ice Storm?

There’s no stopping winter from coming, and with it freezing temperatures, bitter winds, and of course, snow and ice. Brrrrr! Are you ready? How about your roof? 

Yes, just as you need to break out your fleece PJs and cozy socks, make sure you have plenty of wood for the fire, gas for the snowblower, and several month’s supply of hot cocoa, you also need to prepare your roof for the harsh weather that lies ahead. This is especially true if there’s a chance of an ice storm in the forecast. Ice storms can be particularly damaging to roofs, and often result in costly repairs if you’re not prepared.

So, we better get to it before the iceman cometh! Here’s how to make sure your roof is as prepared for an ice storm as possible:

How to Avoid Ice Storm Roof Damage 

Putting a little prep time in now will pay dividends later when winter weather inevitably arrives! Follow these steps to ensure an ice storm doesn’t leave any damage to your roof in its wake.  

Get Your Gutters in Good Shape

Make sure your gutters are cleaned out and clear of debris. You don’t want to chance any clogging that can lead to ice dams, and in turn lead to damage. Ice dams form when water is trapped then freezes and builds up on your roof making it susceptible to leaks and water damage — not good!

Speaking of leaks, now’s the time to fix any leaky section of your gutters as well — another sure way to stop water damage in its tracks. 

Trim Your Trees

Overhanging branches are roof damage waiting to happen! If you have trees near your home, it’s a good idea to trim back any limbs that could fall on your roof as a result of strong winds or the weight of ice accumulation. 

Ready Your Roof

Piles of fall debris left on top of your house can become waterlogged and compromise your roof, so be sure to clean off any leaves, needles, sticks, and other debris your roof may have collected over the fall. 

Inspect your roof for any needed repairs and address any issues that could impair your roof’s ability to keep you safe, warm, and dry. (A roofing company can do this for you, if you prefer). Look for things like cracked, curled, balding or even missing shingles that need to be replaced. Also, repair any flashing that looks distressed. This is especially important around your chimney — a place prone to letting in leaks. 

While you’re at it, keep an eye out for any signs that critters are looking for a cozy winter getaway inside your home. Roof pests can cause plenty of damage too, making your roof that much more susceptible to the damage an ice storm can leave behind!

Attend to your Attic

On top of skirting ice storm damage, your goal is to keep cold air out, and warm air in, right? That’s why it’s super important to make sure your attic’s insulation is up to snuff, as well as its ventilation. 

This is your best line of defense against the harsh winter elements! Proper insulation and ventilation will keep you dry and cozy inside while also keeping large, damaging icicles from forming outside, as well as those dreaded ice dams.  

How to Deal with Ice Storm Roof Damage 

Of course, even if you are well prepared, and have done everything above to protect your roof, an ice storm can still prove to be a difficult adversary. Sometimes damage does occur despite your best efforts, and if that’s the case, what should you do when the storm is done

Needless to say, winter is not a good time to safely get up on your roof! From the ground, check for signs of damage like pieces of shingles, downed branches, broken gutters, sagging areas of your roof, and any formation of ice dams. If you spy any of these red flags, call in the pros to assist you. You might also want to call your home insurance company to see if your policy covers damage to your roof due to an ice storm. 

Remember, if the weather calls for ice, you can always call Werner Roofing. As West Michigan residents, we know what winter has in store for roofs like yours, and we’re here to help prepare your home’s roof before ice damage occurs —  and we’ll be here to help repair it after a storm, too! 

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

What Happens to Your Roof as it Ages?

What Happens to Your Roof as it Ages?

Wrinkles and gray hairs are both obvious signs of aging noticed when looking in the mirror, but what about the roof on your house? Roofs get old too, and if you know what to look for, they’ll show signs of aging over time, just like us! What exactly happens to your roof throughout its lifecycle? Well, let’s take a look.

When Your Old Roof Was New (The Curing Phase)

Remember when your roof was first installed and the last shingle put in place? Ah, sweet memories. Your roof was just starting out in all its glory, but oddly enough, when a roof is brand new it goes through a rapid aging phase called “curing” which lasts for its first two years. 

During this initial phase, it’s not uncommon for your shingles to lose some granules, curl a bit, and even have some blistering going on, but don’t panic. This is all totally normal as your roof settles and stabilizes while strengthening its durability against harsh weather. 

When Your Aging Roof Hits Middle Age (The Incipient Phase)

How time flies, right? After the first couple of years go by, your roof enters into an extended period of prolonged and slow aging. It’s what we would call middle-aged, but in the roofing biz, it’s referred to as the “incipient stage”. 

For about 10 years, your roof is in its prime, doing its thing, protecting your home, and keeping you safe and warm. Ah, but this is no time to become complacent! 

During this phase, maintenance becomes a top priority. You should do regular inspections and look for any signs of a midlife crisis, such as torn or missing shingles that need to be replaced. Keeping on top of and addressing small issues as they arise will help to prolong your roof’s happy and healthy life.  

Normal signs of aging in the incipient stage of your roof might include minor granule loss, cracking here and there, and areas that are a bit weathered looking. Overall, though, life is good…for now.

When Your Aging Roof Is Nearing the End (The Final Phase) 

After about 20 years, your roof starts aging rapidly again and you will notice signs of deterioration. By now it has endured all kinds of weather and has become weakened and broken down — much like we get when we’re old! Heck, it can even go bald! When you start noticing things like these, it is time to bid a fond farewell. Other signs that indicate a new roof is in order include:

  • Rusted or damaged flashing
  • Excessive granule loss (and those pesky bald spots!)
  • Cracked, curled, or buckling shingles
  • Saggy areas
  • Exposed under layers
  • Moss growing on shingles
  • Water damage on ceilings inside your home
  • Light coming through the attic

When Your Old Roof is Ready to be Replaced, Call Werner!

It’s a drag getting old, but unfortunately, you can’t stop the aging process! At some point your aging roof will need to be replaced with a new one, and the roof life cycle will begin again. 

What phase is your roof in right now? Is it getting up there in age? The experts at Werner Roofing would be happy to inspect it for wear and tear and help you decide if any repairs can extend the life of your roof, or if it might be time to consider a roof replacement. Give our team a call or contact us online for a free inspection and estimate.

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

Are Icicles Bad for Your Roof?

Are Icicles Bad for Your Roof?

As the weather gets chillier and winter starts coming in full force, you may start to see icicles pop up along your roof. And while they can definitely add to your home’s “winter wonderland” appeal, you may start to wonder if you should be concerned about them causing any damage. Below, we’ll take a look at whether icicles are bad for your roof, and what you can do to protect your home during the winter. 

Do Icicles Cause Roof Damage? 

Icicles form when water flowing down to the edge of your roof freezes as it drips off the side. Fortunately, having a few icicles is natural and usually won’t cause any harm to your roof. What’s more of a concern is the safety of those entering and exiting your home, as heavy, sharp icicles could break off, fall, and harm someone passing underneath. 

However, you should keep an eye out for your roof accumulating a lot of icicles, especially larger ones. Numerous large icicles generally indicate that your roof has poor insulation, which can lead to more serious issues like ice dams

Icicles vs. Ice Dams

While an icicle is a cone-shaped piece of ice that hangs from your roof, an ice dam is a large buildup of ice toward the edge of your roof. Both of them are the result of inconsistent rooftop temperatures, which usually stem from these two factors:

  • Improper insulation – If your roof doesn’t have proper insulation, heat will be distributed unevenly throughout it, causing the warm and cold spots that lead to melting and refreezing.
  • Natural temperature changes – Rapid changes in the weather aren’t your fault, but could be a cause of ice dams. It’s best to be aware of this, so you can keep an eye on your roof before any major damage occurs. 

Icicles aren’t much of a cause for concern by themselves, but ice dams are. Ice dams can cause serious damage to your home’s roof, gutter, and interior. When the ice dam creates a barrier, blocking melted water from draining off your roof, that water can start to pool and cause problems —   from damaging your shingles, to breaking your gutters, to leaking into your home. 

How to Prevent Icicles and Ice Dams from Forming on Your Roof

If you want to protect your roof from the dangers of winter weather and ice dams, we recommend taking one or more of the following precautionary measures:

  • Remove snow from your roof – As snow accumulates on your roof, scrape it off before it turns into ice. This can be a bit labor-intensive and hazardous, so it’s best to have this done by someone with experience.
  • Insulate your roof properly – Add consistent layers of insulation throughout your roof or attic, so heat is trapped inside to keep you comfortable, instead of escaping to melt snow and cause ice dams. 
  • Ventilate your roof properly – Add ventilation under your roof’s ridge and eaves in order to circulate the cooler air to the underside of your roof.  
  • Replace your roof – If you’re tired of worrying about ice dams every year, you could try replacing it with a roofing material that is less susceptible to ice dams, like a standing seam metal roof

How to Deal with Icicles and Ice Dams Already on Your Roof

If your home has icicles and/or ice dams, don’t try to remove either of them by yourself. Without the right tools and experience, you could end up harming yourself or causing more damage to your roof.

Instead, contact a roofing contractor to get help solving the issue. They’ll be able to remove the icicles and ice dams, repair any damage your roof may have already suffered, and give you some pointers on how to help prevent more damage in the future. 

Seeing a lot of icicles this winter? If your roofing insulation is subpar, it puts your roof and your home at risk for potential problems like ice dams and roof leaks. Werner Roofing can help. We’ll assess your roof’s condition and make recommendations for how to boost your roof’s defenses against winter weather. Then, if you’d like, we can complete the necessary repairs quickly and efficiently! Contact our team for your free roof inspection today.

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

Ultimate Guide to Fall Roof Maintenance

Ultimate Guide to Fall Roof Maintenance

Fall is officially here! And with that comes the beautiful changing colors, yummy pumpkin donuts, and fun hayrides we’ve been looking forward to all year. 

But for many homeowners, fall also comes with some much-needed roof maintenance. 

While roof maintenance probably isn’t something you look forward to all year, it is an important practice in ensuring your home is safe from unexpected, costly damages. As your trusted local roofing experts, we’ve combined all of our fall roof maintenance resources here to provide you with an ultimate guide for successful and rewarding roof maintenance this season.

Why Is Fall Roof Maintenance Important?

Regular roof maintenance is critical in preventing extensive damage that could result in injuries or costly repairs — and fall is the perfect time to get it done. The following articles give a general overview of the benefits of maintenance, especially during this season:

How Do I Know If My Roof Needs Maintenance This Fall?

Even though roofs are built to last a long time, they’re not built to last forever. While your roof won’t need extensive maintenance every year, you should inspect it annually for any signs of damage and deterioration. Here are some helpful articles to help you know when your roof may need some attention:

What Will My Fall Roof Maintenance Help With? 

The biggest thing fall roof maintenance will help you will is preparing your roof for winter. Cold winter conditions are never friendly to your roof, and it’s almost impossible to do any repairs while it’s icy and snowing, so you’re best off preparing ahead of time. Check out these articles about all the things fall roof maintenance can help prepare you for come wintertime:

How Can I Finance My Fall Roof Maintenance?

Roof repairs and replacements are no small investment. However, there are plenty of financing options available, so you’re able to choose the one that best fits your needs. Below, you’ll find a few helpful tips on how to figure out insurance and financing for various fall roof maintenance expenses:

Does your roof need some TLC this fall? Now is a great time to call Werner Roofing to get your home prepped for the winter season ahead. While the weather’s still warm, we’re doing roof repairs and replacements and can help you assess what your roof needs with a free estimate. Give our team a call to schedule your roof work today.

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

3 Reasons To Check Your Roof Insulation This Fall

3 Reasons To Check Your Roof Insulation This Fall

Roof insulation is a layer of material installed underneath your roof to create a thermal barrier between outside elements and your home’s interior. It plays a critical role in maintaining consistent temperatures in residential and commercial buildings alike. 

Many roofing experts recommend that you inspect your insulation at least once per year. Below, we’ll elaborate on why that’s important, and how to do it. 

Why Should I Check My Roof Insulation?

It’s important to check your roof insulation because it can help make your home more comfortable and prevent costly damages. Here are just a few things that properly functioning insulation can help with:

Preventing Ice Dams

Ice dams are ridges of ice that form on the edge of your roof. They’re formed by a combination of freezing temperatures, snow on your roof, and heat escaping from inside your home. They can cause a slew of problems because they prevent melting snow and other forms of precipitation from draining off your roof. 

The water that gets built up by these dams can leak into your home and cause extremely expensive damage, including mold, mildew and structural damage. The actual dams are also known to tear off gutters and loosen shingles. Roof insulation can help prevent these issues by trapping more heat within your home to combat the uncontrollable elements outdoors. 

Reducing Heat Loss

From chilly drafts to rooms that are colder than others, if you notice that your home’s temperature fluctuates quickly and dramatically, poor roof insulation is a likely culprit. In fact, roughly 25% of a home’s heat escapes from the attic or roof. 

An inspection can help you determine if your roof is underinsulated, or if it has a few pieces of insulation that are damaged and not functioning properly. Either way, once you figure out the problem, you can take steps toward fixing it and living life more comfortably. 

Increasing Energy Efficiency

Take a look at your home’s latest energy bills. Are they significantly higher than they have been in past years? It’s possible your roof insulation is old or damaged and in desperate need of replacement. 

Fully functioning, properly installed insulation prevents heat from escaping. This leads to a more energy-efficient roof and home, which makes living more comfortable and energy bills more affordable.

How Do I Check My Roof Insulation?

There are a few ways you can check for any malfunctions or damages within your roof insulation, including:

Performing a Touch Test

One basic way to measure your insulation’s performance is to do a simple touch test. When you touch your home’s interior ceilings, they should feel warm and dry. If they feel cold or damp, it’s likely your insulation isn’t working well. In contrast, if you touch your roof’s exterior, it should feel cold because your insulation is keeping the heat from escaping. 

Of course, this is not the most reliable test, so it’s recommended that you follow up with other tests and professional opinions to get a clearer understanding of what’s going on. 

Measuring the Insulation Levels

The quality and performance of roof insulation is determined by a measurement called its R-value, which tells you how well your insulation can keep heat from entering and escaping your home. 

In order to measure the R-value of your current insulation, you first need to identify which type of insulation you have: fiberglass, rock wool, cellulose, vermiculite, or perlite. Then, you should measure the depth of the insulation material in inches. Finally, use the calculations below to determine the correct R-value for your insulation material and depth:

  • Loose fiber fiberglass: 2.5 x depth
  • Batts fiberglass: 3.2 x depth
  • Rock wool: 2.8 x depth
  • Cellulose: 3.7 x depth
  • Vermiculite or perlite: 2.7 x depth

The total of your calculation is your R-value. Optimal R-values depend on the climate in which you live. In general, cooler climates need higher R-values than warmer ones, but there are many calculation tables and map resources available online to help you find exactly what you need.

Calling a Professional

When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to call a professional to come to your house and check things out for you. They’ll know the type of insulation you have, what your R-value should be, and any reasons for improperly functioning insulation. They’ll also be able to provide the best advice to help fix your problem. 

Why Is Fall the Best Time to Check My Roof Insulation?

Now is the best time to get your roof inspected by a professional because proper roof insulation can help you avoid a lot of common winter roof problems. To get your roof prepared for winter weather, contact Werner Roofing. We’ll help maintain your roof and get it in shape to defend against ice dams, heavy snow, and cold temperatures.

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

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