Can the weight of snow cause property damage?

February 17, 2024

As winter begins to slowly descend upon us, romanticized cozy fireplace nights and exciting snowball fights become ever more appealing. However, beneath its beauty lies an unseen threat: snow accumulation. A frequently asked question is: Can the weight of snow cause property damage? Unfortunately, snowdrifts covering your property could pose significant threats that range from inconvenience to catastrophe.

Snow Weight's Unseen Impact on Your Property

Can the weight of snow cause property damage? - Snowfall may appear harmless at first glance, yet its accumulation has an enormously destructive impact. A cubic foot of fresh snow weighs roughly 5 pounds when fresh but, once compacted and melted down, can weigh between 12-20. This extra load could put undue stress on various aspects of your property: 

1. Roofs

Flat roofs present particular risks due to their weight. Overloaded structures could potentially deteriorate rapidly, potentially resulting in leakage, sagging, or complete collapse - this risk is amplified further when melting snow refreezes at the eaves forming an ice dam that obstructs drainage while adding further weight and impeding drainage and weight to an already weighty structure.

2. Trees and Shrubs

Heavy snowfall can result in cracked or broken branches which then collapse onto power lines, structures, or individuals below, potentially posing severe risks to those nearby - and potential damages can range from minor property loss to major injuries for individuals nearby. 

3. Gutters and Downspouts

Overloaded gutters may separate from your home and damage siding and walkways, while blocked downspouts could create ice dams that pool water around your foundation, increasing leaks or water damage risk.

4. Fences and Decks

Much like trees, fences, and decks may bow under pressure from snow accumulation by collapsing under its weight or buckleing from pressure applied.

5. Foundations

Accumulated snow may exert pressure against your foundation walls and cause cracks that compromise its structural integrity, ultimately endangering your home's safety.

6. Driveways and Sidewalks

While not of critical concern, snow's weight can damage pavement surfaces by cracking them or creating unevenness resulting in trip hazards and accessibility challenges for our communities.

Get insight into Insurance for Snow Removal Contractors here!

Recognizing When Professional Assistance Is Needed

Although preventive measures are key to mitigating snow damage, even with diligent preparation there may be times when even these efforts fall short. But how do you know when it's time to call in professionals?

Here are a few key indicators:

  1. Excessive Snow Accumulation: For snow accumulation that exceeds 6 inches on roofs or 12 inches in decks or walkways, professional assistance should be sought immediately as it can be dangerous to remove large amounts from these spaces without proper tools or expertise.
  2. Ice Dams: If ice dams form on your roof eaves, seek professional removal immediately to address them safely and avoid further roof damage from improper removal attempts. 
  3. Structural Concerns: If you have concerns about the structural integrity of your roof, trees, or other structures under snow load conditions, seek professional help immediately to assess and provide safe advice regarding the next steps. 
  4. Time Constraints: Even with all the knowledge and tools necessary for snow removal, time constraints may prove challenging. Clearing large quantities of snowfall requires time-intensive clearing operations requiring additional attention from you while hiring professionals can be the best!
  5. Physical Limits: Recognizing that not everyone can physically manage strenuous snow removal is essential, particularly for older adults and individuals with physical limitations.

Never hesitate to seek professional help; hiring snow removal services provides peace of mind, protects property against potential damages, and ensures both yourself and others remain safe from injury or accidents. Summit Cover understands the challenges presented by winter; our team of dedicated professionals is well-equipped to manage even the most demanding snow removal tasks with ease.

Winter Victory: Strategies to Prevent Snow Damage

Take steps now to protect your property against snowweight's silent threat - adopt proactive steps now for an enjoyable yet safe winter season: 

  • Roof Maintenance: Regularly check your roof for weaknesses or damages to maintain proper drainage.
  • Tree Care: Safely prune off all weak and diseased limbs of trees to lower the risk of breaking during the season.
  • Foundation Drainage: Ensure that the soil is slopping away your house by grading the area and removing the obstruction that can block the flow of water.

Be aware of weather forecasts and snowfall predictions, plan with tools like shovels, de-icing salt, and sand readily available, and consider SummitCover’s snow removal insurance in Canada for consistent clearing service with peace of mind!

Winter Doesn't Need to Pose Property Damage Risk

Can the weight of snow cause property damage? Understanding snow weight risks and taking proactive measures, you can turn winter from an uncertain event into one filled with safe enjoyment. At Summit Cover, our goal is to help you embrace winter safely by using cutting-edge technologies for snow removal solutions on your property - providing comprehensive snow removal solutions without risk to ensure safe enjoyment throughout its season. 

Reach out now so we can show how Summit Cover can help you enjoy winter without worry or risk!

Latest articles.