Quarve Contracting
Wednesday 1 February 2012

Heavy St. Paul Area Snowfall Threatening Your Roof? Not If It's Steel

Posted by at 10:49 PM

Heavy, wet snowfalls like those common to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area can put a strain on the roofs of most Twin Cities area homes.  However, with a steel roof over your head -- like one from Kassel & Irons installed by Quarve Contracting -- you can rest easy, knowing your roof will hold up to harsh Minnesota winters.  A little snow isn't a problem for most roofs.  However, certain winter conditions can put extreme stress on traditional roofing materials such as asphalt, wood shakes, or tile.  If that's your roof, you should be aware of these things:
  • Heavy, wet snow.  Inch for inch, wet snow weighs much more than dry snow, resulting in an increased weight load.  If your roof and/or its underlying structure are older, this could be a problem. 
  • Deep snow build-up.  Even light snow, if left to accumulate to significant depth, can strain a roof.  Some home owners use roof rakes to periodically remove snow so that it doesn't build up.  Unfortunately, when used improperly roof rakes can cause shingle or shake damage.  And then there's the safety factor of crawling up on a ladder in snowy or icy winter conditions. 
  • Wind-driven snow.  Snow accompanied by strong winds can be blown under the edges of shingles, causing them to lift up.  Repeated melted and re-freezing of the trapped snow can then damage or loosen them. 
One method many home owners use to keep their roofs snow-free is heat tape.  This electrical cable is installed at the lower edge of the roof and is designed to melt the snow above the roof's edge.  While this can help prevent the occurrence of roof-damaging ice dams, it has its disadvantages.  It takes time to install in the fall and remove in the spring, and it is somewhat unsightly.  And it only deals with the snow on the lower portion of the roof. Also, there is the cost of electricity.   Roof rakes and heat tape are just maintenance, not solutions.  For a permanent answer to the snow-on-the-roof threat, nothing beats a steel roof.  In addition to being the most durable roofing material available, there are no loose edges to trap snow or moisture, and snow tends to simply slide off the surface.  No more raking or energy-consuming heat cables.  Steel bears up under the weight of heavy snow better than any other roofing material.  Plus, its virtually maintenance-free.  If you're interested in finding out more about how a steel roof can help protect your home, call the St. Paul/Minneapolis roofing contractors at Quarve Contracting today.  For over 27 years we've been helping Twin Cities home owners keep a good roof over their heads.