Snow and ice have the ability to bring more stress to your building than you may think. To help you better understand how to handle the effects of winter weather, here are five things you may not have known about the impacts of snow.
- 1Icicles hanging from your roof are actually indications of Ice Dams.
Ice dams are ridges of ice that form on the edges of your roof that create a barrier that prevents melting snow from properly draining off your roof.
- 2Snow and Ice are some of the top causes of commercial roof damage.
The extra weight, water and stress that snow and ice put on your roof can lead to leaks, compromised flashings and clogged drains.
- 3Twelve inches of wet, dense snow is equal to 5 pounds per square foot.
This can add up quickly. If your roof is 50,000 sq. feet, you have 498,000 lbs of weight on your roof. If left unaddressed, this weight can lead to bowing, ponding, leaks or even a collapsed roof.
- 4When your roof experiences a rapid temperature change during a snowstorm or freeze, a process called Thermal Shock occurs.
Believe it or not, some membranes breathe! Sudden freezing temperatures can result in shrinkage, splits, cracks and extra stress on some roof membranes.
- 5Snow that melts and refreezes can create sheets of ice that move across your roof in a process called Glaciation.
Wind can cause these sheets to move to one spot, potentially leading to ponding and adding extra weight to a certain spot on your roof.