How to Prevent Collapse of Chicago Roofing

chicago roofing collapse

Collapse of Chicago roofing is a serious structural failure that can affect other parts of a house. Since roof frames connect to the walls, there is a good reason to believe that the walls would also be affected if the frames are compromised.

The danger involved in a roof collapse makes it imperative that homeowners fully understand the way roofs work, particularly their load-bearing capacity.

Load Capacity. A residential roof can normally support up to 20 pounds per square foot of snow unless the roof structure is damaged or weakened. In mountainous and snow-prone areas in the United States the load capacity of roofs is much higher to enable them to withstand greater snow weight. You can check with your local building official to know if your house had higher loads at the time it was constructed.

Risk Evaluation. Snow tends to run off a roof that has a steeped slope, especially those with slopes greater than 3 inches per 12 inches of horizontal distance. In the northern areas, houses are generally built with steeper slopes or roof pitch. Snow accumulates more on low-sloped or flat roofs. Porches generally have low-pitched roofs. Furthermore, expect snow build up on sections of the home that are adjacent to higher parts of the house since snow blown by strong winds from taller places would fall there.

Estimating Snow Weight. Four feet of fresh snow on the roof weighs around 20 pounds. Two feet of packed snow weighs around 20 pounds. For ice, 1 inch of it is equivalent to around 1 foot of fresh snow.

Removing Snow. When the amount of snow that falls on your roof exceeds 20-25 pounds per square foot of roof space, consider the situation as serious or in the danger zone. You should consider removing the snow from the roof. For a safe removal of snow, you can use an extendible snow rake that is widely available at your local supply store to remove snow without going up the roof or leaving the safety of the ground. You can engage the services of a professional contractor to remove the snow too.

Preventing Snow. Aside from using a snow rake, other alternatives for preventing or removing snow and ice on the roof are available such as heat cables installed on the roof and calcium chloride placed inside nylon stockings and positioned strategically on the problem areas on the roof. Roof tablets may be used as well, which are simply thrown into the roof.

Debunking Some Myths About Cool Roofs

cool roofs

Cool roofing is becoming popular because of numerous benefits that it offers, including substantial savings in electric bills to cool the interior of a building. Cool roofs are made up of roofing materials with a high degree of reflectance that reduce the absorption of heat on the structure. The use of cool roofs could reduce the temperature of a building by up to 60° Fahrenheit.

While the concept of a cool roof has been around for years, misconception still exists about its features. Here are some of them:

1. Reflective Roofs Must Use Only the White Color

While white is the most reflective color, it is not correct to state that all reflective roofs can only be white. Cool roofs are available in different colors, each one presenting different degree of reflectivity against sunlight. In fact, darker colors could be treated with pigments that reflect sunlight in the near-infrared spectrum. Since 50 percent of the sun’s energy is in the near-infrared spectrum, the reflectance of pigment-treated colored roofs becomes significant.

2. Phthalates are Dangerous to Our Health

Many cool roofs use PVC products that reflect sunlight and absorb less heat. To make PVC products flexible, phthalates are mixed in during the production process. Roofing membranes, tarps and tubing are flexible because of phthalates. Based on studies and use of phthalates for more than 50 years, the substance has not been shown to be harmful to humans if it is used as intended.

3. The Energy-Saving Feature of a White Roof is Ineffective During Winter

The idea is based on a seemingly-logical reasoning that materials that can keep buildings cool during summer would also do the same in winter. The fact is not that simple. For instance, a dark roof that absorbs heat during summer does so considerably less during winter.

For reflective roofs, environmental factors mitigate its cooling effects in winter. Take, for example, the angle of the sun during winter. The low angle poses very minimal heating potential during this period. The mostly overcast skies and shorter days significantly reduce the time during which the roof absorbs heat from the sun.

Most commercial buildings demand less energy for heating compared to the higher demand for cooling to counter heat created from equipment use and human activity. The energy cost to heat a structure in order to achieve a fixed comfort level is significantly lower than the energy cost needed to attain a comfort level for cooling.

4. Cool Roofs Cost More than Conventional Roofs

Making a roof cool incurs very minimal costs. In fact, cool roofs translate to substantial savings in the long run.

Roof Repair Calgary: Is Roof Melt by KMI Effective?

roof repair calgary

With global warming comes extreme climate fluctuations. People living in warm places suddenly experience cold weather while those residing in cold areas get healthy doses of sunshine. The unpredictability of the weather encourages homeowners to be prepared for any eventuality.

For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, snow is something that comes every year during the winter season. The onset of snow causes multiple issues on proper roof maintenance. A very common problem associated with snow is the formation of ice dams on the roof and gutter. Neglecting to address this problem could cause not only roof damage but also ruin things inside the house from leaking water.

People have devised various methods in roof repair Calgary to address ice dams such as removing the snow on the roof with a roof rake, installing heat cables on the roof, and hacking away the snow with axes, ice picks and similar tools. These approaches require you to get up on the roof or ladder to physically remove the snow or install the cables. A different approach is using roof tablets that are designed to be thrown on the roof.

Roof Melt by KMI

We examine one such product, the Roof Melt tablets by KMI. The tablets are made from calcium chloride and are available in a 60-tablet container.

Roof Melt is designed to prevent damage to your roof caused by the formation of ice dams. Its manufacturer hypes the safety aspect and convenience in using this product. Unlike other ice dam-prevention products that necessitate the user to step up the ladder or go up on the roof, Roof Melt will not require you to go up elevated places. Just toss a few tablets on the roof and it will start working. No ladders or other tools are needed. Simply throw a Roof Melt tablet on a square foot of area on the roof and it will begin working within one hour. It is said to have no long term adverse effect on roofs.

Mixed Customers Reviews

The reactions of customers to the usefulness of the product are mixed. Some praise its worthiness and attest to its effectiveness in removing ice dam issues while keeping their roofs safe. Others say it did not make any difference. Some even claim that the tablets damaged their roof.

A common issue with the use of Roof Melt tablets is accurately placing them on the affected areas just by throwing them up to the roof. Most do not land on the intended area or bounced off the roof and get lost in the snowbank. To be effective, the tablets must be placed above the ice formation and not directly on the ice.

Garelick Snow Rake for Roofing Maintenance

roofing maintenance rake

Most countries observe four seasons in a year—winter, spring, summer and fall (autumn). However, the dates when these seasons start vary depending on what country you live in.

Fortunately, our scientists (meteorologists and astronomers) agree on the months when the seasons start. Winter starts in December, spring starts in March, summer starts in June and fall starts in September.

Winter signals the coming of snow particularly in the northern states. By this time, homeowners should be preparing for snow on their roofs and its unwanted effect—ice dams. Ice dams form when snow melts, runs down the roof and freezes near the edge. Water pooling behind the ice could drip through the roof and damage the ceilings.

Therefore, preventing the accumulation of snow on the roof is important to stop the formation of ice dams. One of the best snow removal tools for roofing maintenance in the market is the Garelick 89421 21-Foot Aluminum Snow Roof Rake with 24-inch blade.

Positive Features of the Product

The Garelick Roof Rake boasts of its patented “shingle saver” rollers designed to brush away snow without the blade touching the roof’s surface. These are the best features of the product:

  • The roof rake is very lightweight, weighing just 5.8 pounds. Practically anyone can use it scrape snow off the roof.
  • The blades are long so you can brush off the snow in one stroke.
  • It has a large shovel head with shingle saver to keep your roof safe from accidental scraping.
  • You can separate the roof rake into four separate sections for easy storage after use.
  • It does not damage your roof because the blade does not touch the surface.
  • The aluminum material used on the rake means that it is corrosion-free.

Negative Features of the Product

Similar to other commercial products, the Garelick Roof Rake has its downsides. These include:

  • The product is more expensive compared to other snow roof removal tools in the same category.
  • Removing a large quantity of snow at once or in a single swipe could damage the blade.
  • The rubber blade occasionally detaches from the body if you pull on it.

Customer Reaction

Customer approval over the Garelick roofing maintenance rake is overwhelming. Buyers are very satisfied with its performance in safely removing snow from the roof. The only significant albeit very minor complaint refers to the bolts, nuts and washers that came with the product. Most suggest replacing them with something sturdier.

Roofing Denver: Roof Protection For Winter

roofing denver snow

Roofs absorb all the brunt from the cold winter weather. Therefore, it should be sturdy enough to withstand the harsh condition of winter with its ice and snow. In fact, cold weather demands special requirements for roof materials, design and maintenance. A strong and solid roof above give comfort to your family knowing that your home is safe.

While the incorporation of a durable roof is basic in roofing Denver home construction, homeowners still have to perform maintenance work to keep roofs in tiptop shape even during the harshest winters. Some of the problems you may encounter if you reside in the snowy areas of the US such as Denver, and their practical solutions are:

1. Ice Dams. One of the common problems associated with cold weather is ice dam formation on the eaves. Heat from the roof melts snow, which runs down the roof to the eaves. Ice dam forms on the eaves if the water cools before draining from the roof. Large ice dams could damage the roofing, flashings, gutters, downspouts, roof drainage system, building structure and interior.

Solution. Make sure there is sufficient insulation and ventilation on your attic. You can also install membrane underlayment below the roofing material to prevent water leaks to the house.

2. Obstructions on Downspouts. Dirt and debris could mix with ice and snow on your roof and eventually find their way down the gutter and downspout. These materials accumulate over time and could potentially block the downspout, preventing melting snow and ice from draining down to the ground.

Solution. Regularly check the areas around the downspouts and clear away dirt and other debris that could block the passage.

3. Snow. Snow and ice formation on roofs is a common occurrence during winter season. Depending on the weather, the volume of snow could exceed the load-bearing capacity of your roof, posing a serious risk of collapse.

Solution. A special tool called a roof rake, purposely created for this purpose, could be used to scrape off snow and ice accumulation on the roof.

4. Gutter Ice. Ice normally builds up in gutters during the cold winter months. If the buildup of ice becomes too heavy, your gutter could give in and totally rip away from your house.

Solution. The solution is fairly easy. Just use chisel or hammer to chip away the ice formation. Be careful not to damage the gutter to avoid costly repairs. You could also call your local roofing contractor to make sure the work is properly done.