Is Heavy Snowfall Bad for Your Roof? - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Is Heavy Snowfall Bad for Your Roof?

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- Falling snow can fast accumulate on both residential and commercial roofs. 

Isaac Thiesen, of Ledegar Roofing, said "roof rakes," essentially shovels with long, flexible handles, can be purchased for roughly $30 at most hardware stores and can be used to knock snow accumulation off of roofs. 

But Thiesen said too much raking or shoveling can damage shingles by wearing down their texture. 

He said snow accumulation shouldn't be a problem on roofs, unless there is a problem with insulation in a building's attic. 

That can lead to water runoff and subsequent re-freezing which forms "ice dams." 

"The attic is supposed to be a cold spot," Thiesen said. "So what happens is heat comes up through the roof  deck, melts the snow, the snow then melts, runs down the roof and as soon as it hits the cold spot on the edge it freezes up." 

"That ice keeps building up and up and up on the roof until eventually you have an interior leak or, worst case scenario, you could have a roof collapse," he said. 

Thiesen said it's recommended anyone noticing an ice dam on his or her roof contact professionals to remove it. 

He said it's not advisable to try climbing onto your roof and removing the ice yourself

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