Tips to help prevent roof problems before a snowstorm

Normally, it's difficult for snow to collapse a roof. So, a collapsing roof most likely points to problems before a storm, a local roofing expert said. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

North Carolinians saw roofs failing across the state with the snowstorm over the weekend.

"Your roof is designed to shed water, it's not necessarily designed to be a water-repellent system. It's deigned to be a water-resistant system,” Jimmy Balson, owner of Quantum Roofing in Asheville, said.

Normally, it's difficult for snow to collapse a roof.

"It can hold a good amount of weight, and it's the carports, it's the stuff that's not really built to a high-quality craftsmanship that you're going to start seeing collapsing," Balson said.

So, he said, a collapsing roof most likely points to problems before a storm.

A good rule of thumb: If your roof is 20 years or older, get it checked by an expert annually and make sure they look for leaks.

"Make sure your valleys are clear, that you don't have any dirt or debris build up or like leaves," Balson said.

Balson said the problem is when snow melt builds up from that debris and those leaves and water eventually gets into your home.

That's why you also want to make sure you clear your gutters and down spouts.

"You'll have snow buildup in the gutter that will start to, kind of like a dam, picture a dam on a river, you'll have snow build up in the gutter here that will start forming into ice and then keeping all that rest of the snow back on the roof," Balson said.

If you think your roof may collapse with snow falling, first try and call an expert to come out. If you have no other option, they make snow rakes that may help you reach up there to clear away some snow.

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