Which Roofing Material is Best For Snow?

When buying a new home or renovating an existing one, it’s important to know how well your roof will stand up to the snow in your area.

Many times snow can creep up, making incredible stress or damage to your home. Having it properly fitted with the right materials is very important.

Taking time to get to know what is available can lead you to get the best options for your home’s roofing. Snow drops the temperature of the materials while also incorporating moisture and increasing the weight load that occurs on the household.

metal roofing is the best option for snow

Roofing Materials and How They Hold Up in the Snow

  • Asphalt is one of the most common and low cost options used for rooftops. It’s durable and lightweight, but its lifespan can be shortened in areas that experience a lot of snow.
  • Wooden shingles are a popular option that looks great when completed. Since they weather and retain moisture they’re unfortunately prone to cracking during freezing temperatures. Once a wooden shingles cracks, a replacement will need to be installed in its place.
  • Clay tiles are some of the longest lasting options available. Rapid temperature changes can cause them to crack, resulting in early replacement. They’re also very heavy on the roof, which could eventually cause sagging if the sheathing and roofing structure underneath has been compromised by water damage.
  • Metal sheeting is one of the lightest and most durable options available. Snow can easily be removed. If the roof (or a section of it) ever needs replacement, it can easily be done by removing the panel and replacing it with a new one within the groove.

When to Remove Snow From the Roof

Depending on the type of snow, you might not have to remove all of the snow from your roof. If the snow is dry and not plentiful, it’s safe to leave it — the same goes for an inch or two of wet snow.

When it is time to remove snow, you’ll know. This is when doors will have a problem opening and closing or will randomly decide to swing open. You’ll also hear cracking and creaking noises coming from the attic due to an overbearing weight on the support beams and roofing.

Try to wait until after the snowfall has completely halted to begin removing snow from the roof. Use a long-handled roof rake to begin removing the snow (but remember to not let the snow hit you from above). Whatever you do — just make sure you never use a ladder. It’s best to keep both feet planted on the ground during the slippery wintertime.

If there is more than a half foot of wet snow or a few feet of dry snow on top of your roof, it may be wise to call a professional in.(Standard roof rakes won’t be able to remove all of the snow.) A pro will know how to safely remove all of the snow, with the right tools, to help relieve your roof of any pressure.

Considering Lifespan of Your Roof Materials

Each roofing material has its own lifespan. Some can last for 15 years, while others can last for over 50 years.

However, one thing remains the same — no roof will last if the proper maintenance isn’t performed. On top of this, those who live in areas with excessive snowfall will usually see a decrease in roof lifespan.

With the average lifespan of a metal roof ranging from 30 to 50 plus years, along with the ease of snow removal, this is usually the best option for homes and businesses living in snowy areas.

We’re looking at you New York!


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