Preparing for Disaster: 9 Key Tips to Help Prevent Roof Collapse

If you live in a snow prone area, roof collapse is something you may deal with. Here are 9 key tips you should follow that can help you prevent roof collapse!

Taking care of your roof through the seasons helps keep it safe and secure for the long haul. 

Most roofs last a very long time. A good slate roof should last at least 20 years with normal wear-and-tear. Other roofing materials can last even longer. 

But when the elements get involved, tough weather, heavy debris, or snow can damage your roof.

One of the most dangerous situations for your roof is sagging. When the snow piles on during the winter, it adds weight to your roof. In warmer climates, debris from fallen limbs and leaves can put too much strain on your roof. 

What can you do about it? Here are nine key tips to follow to help prevent roof collapse. 

1. Watch Out For Snowfall

We don't mean you have to sit and watch the snow fall from the sky. But after a heavy snowfall, check your roof. 

Snow is heavy. With a flat roof, snow piles up with nowhere to go until the temperatures warm enough for a thaw. Even if you have a roof with a slope, snow can pile up in the creases and gutters.

The longer the heavy snow sits on your roof, the longer your roof has to support the added weight. It's also not suitable for your shingles and decking for heavy moisture to sit with nowhere to go.

If a thaw isn't coming any time soon, you'll need to remove the snow from your roof. 

2. Keep Gutters and Drains Clear

When the snow starts to melt, the runoff needs a place to go. If your gutters and drains stay clogged, the melting snow sits on your roof and seeps into shingles and decking. 

Before an impending snowfall, check your gutters. Clear away any debris that will keep your roof's runoff from easily flowing away from your roof and foundation. 

Check your downspouts and drains. Give snow runoff a clear path away from your roof. 

3. Stay Off the Roof

Do you climb on the roof to look at the stars? If you have a flat roof, do you use it to escape to a quiet place? 

Any added weight to your roof increases the load your roof must support.

You don't weight a lot. And your roof might feel sturdy while you're up there. But it wasn't built to support the additional weight of a person regularly spending time on the roof. 

Choose a nice spot on the lawn to watch the stars or relax in the quiet. 

4. Be Careful What You Add on Top

If you add anything to your roof, be sure it doesn't take the load over what your roof can support.

Whether it's a new air-conditioning unit, solar panels, or your satellite television device, be sure your roof can handle the additional weight. 

Also, be sure you check your roof's warranties. Adding weight to your roof could void any life-expectancy warranties for prior roof work. 

5. Look and Listen

Your roof might appear fine after a season of heavy snow from winter storms. Sags in the roof aren't always visible right away.

It's critical to take a look at other areas of your home or building to help identify potential problems with a sagging roof. 

Check your foundation. Look for cracks in the concrete. This could indicate a shift from your roof that's putting stress on your foundation. 

Look for cracks in windows or walls. Open doors and windows. If you struggle to open or close them, you could have structural damage from roof strain. 

Listen for creaks. Your house will settle as the seasons change and as it ages. However, excessive settling noises could indicate a sagging roof issue. 

6. Use Caution When Removing Snow or Debris

Be careful what you use to remove snow or debris.

We've already mentioned how important it is to remove heavy snow from your roof. Be sure you only use tools that won't cause damage to your roof. 

Heavy snowblowers can do more harm than good. You could add weight on top of the weight of the snow while trying to clear your roof.

Sharp objects could damage your roof shingles or tiles while you chip and scoop snow away. 

Take it slow and use tools with dull edges that won't cause damage as you remove snow. 

7. Inspect Regularly

Before snow falls, inspect your roof. Make sure summer heat or rain hasn't caused any damage to your roof before snow piles on your roof. 

The key to extending the life your roof is to keep up with proper roof maintenance. It's cheaper and easier to repair smaller problems before they become more significant issues. 

If you can keep up with small maintenance issues and regular upkeep, you'll save the expense of replacing a roof that was weak before heavy snow caused it to sag. 

8. Shore it Up

If you suspect your roof is sagging, shore it up before calling the professionals. 

When a roof begins to sag, gravity can soon take over and accelerate the collapse. Act quickly when you suspect your roof might be caving in.  

Use timbers or other forms of support as a temporary hold before roofers arrive to inspect and recommend a solution. 

9. Don't Wait

Be proactive when it comes to your roof's care. Roofs are often an afterthought. They're always there, and always seem solid. 

Prevention keeps your roof safe. Acting quickly when you first suspect a problem can save you from extensive repairs or replacements. 

Safety is always a priority when it comes to maintaining your roof. Act before a sagging roof can become dangerous for anyone using your home or building. 

Let Professionals Helps With Roof Collapse

Whether it's an effort to prevent it, or an effort to save it, call the professionals when it comes to dealing with roof collapse. 

In Kansas City, your rooftops undergo a tremendous amount of stress. JR & Co know what to look for, and how to prevent or repair signs of roof sag. Contact us for your fast, free, and no obligation consultation.