Experts remind you to rake snow off your roof to prevent leaks

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A maintenance man uses a snowblower to clear a sidewalk along 8th Ave. near Lincoln St. as a storm packing snow and high winds sweeps in over the region Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, in Denver. Stores, schools and government offices were closed or curtailed their hours while on another front, Thanksgiving Day travellers were forced to wrestle with snow-packed roads and flight delays or cancellations throughout the intermountain West. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It can be tough getting the snow off your roof, but experts say it’s one of the most important things you can do for your home after a snowstorm.

John Musto, owner of Infinite Roofing in Colonie, says if you’re unable to get the snow rake all the way to the top of the roof, it’s worth it to clear the perimeter.

“At least the bottom six feet of the eaves,” Musto told NEWS10 ABC. “So that they don’t have any leaks through their ice and water barrier.”

Leaks are usually the result of ice dams. The heat from your attic melts the snow on the center most part of the roof, and as it runs down the eaves, it cools and forms ice. That ice backs up under the shingles, melts again, and soaks into the roof.

“You’ll just see two-foot icicles on the bottom of your roof instead of little tiny icicles,” Musto said. “And that has to do more with your ventilation and your insulation in the roof.”

When raking the roof, you should do the overhangs first. Also, be careful to avoid any overhead powerlines.

If the snow on your roof is too heavy for you to handle, and requires shoveling, consider hiring a roof snow removal professional.

The weight of the snow adds insult to injury.

“It’s worse than when it’s leaking regularly, because the plywood will be soft from the water being on it,” Musto said. “And then it’s a lot more prone to being bent, and then when all the snow melts, you could have a wavy roof.”

When the snow melts and turns into ice, it also gets heavier. According to Infinite Roofing’s blog, one square-foot of snow at only one inch deep would come to weigh over 1.25 pounds.

The roof of a local soccer dome is a prime example of what heavy snow can do.

“Domes have a certain curve, and it started to flatten out at the top,” Afrim Nezaj, owner of Afrim’s Sports said about his soccer dome in Glenmont. “And once that flattens out, really, there’s no way for that snow to come off other than to just let the dome down slowly.”

When Nezaj saw what was happening, he knew it was better to collapse it himself, than to let nature do it.

“The thing not to do is to fight it,” Nezaj told NEWS10.

After spending two days shoveling the snow off the deflated dome, he started re-inflating it on Friday, even with a little bit of snowfall.

“It’s light enough that it’s starting to blow back up,” Nezaj said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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