Snow Load Considerations: Is Your Roof Ready for Atlanta’s Rare Snowfall?

While Atlanta is known for mild winters, it may occasionally experience snowfall. While snow-covered streets may be picturesque, you must be aware of the potential impact of snow accumulation on your roof. Keep reading to explore the threats of snow loads. We’ll also walk you through some tips on how to keep your roof safe from damage.

Atlanta’s Snowfalls

Atlanta’s climate is typically characterized by mild temperatures, but occasional winter storms can bring a blanket of snow to the city. This occurs if the temperatures drop low enough and there’s sufficient precipitation to lead to snow.

Structural Integrity Concerns

Homes in Atlanta are often designed with a focus on managing heat rather than withstanding heavy snow loads. As a result, the structural integrity of roofs may not be as robust as those in regions with more frequent snowfall. The weight of accumulated snow can pose a significant challenge to roofs that are not adequately prepared.

Risk of Ice Dams

Snow accumulation, followed by thawing and refreezing, can lead to the formation of ice dams. These dams obstruct the natural flow of melted snow, causing water to pool and potentially seep beneath the roofing material. This can lead to leaks and water damage inside the home.

Assessing and Managing Snow Loads

When it comes to dealing with snowfalls in Atlanta, our strategies fall into two categories: for those who are in the process of choosing a new roof and for those who already have a roof.

For Those Planning to Get a New Roof

If you are considering a roof replacement or building a new house and need to choose a roof, keep the following considerations in mind.

Know Your Roof’s Load Capacity

Understanding your roof’s load-bearing capacity is important. You should choose a builder who is well-versed in the Georgia State Minimum Standard Building Code. They will make sure that your new roof can safely withstand the snow load if a snowfall does happen. Atlanta gets around 0.12 inches of precipitation at most in December. In Atlanta, roofs should be able to withstand a ground snow load of 5 pounds per square foot (PSF).

Preventive Measures

It is important that you hire a roofing contractor who will ensure proper insulation and ventilation when adding a roof to your home. Well-insulated attics can prevent the premature melting of snow. Adequate ventilation helps maintain a consistent temperature, reducing the likelihood of ice dam formation.

Tips for Existing Roofs

If you aren’t planning to replace your roof in the near future, here are some tips on how to best take care of your existing one.

Regular Inspections

To take care of your existing roof, you should schedule regular inspections. A roofing contractor will look for signs of stress, such as sagging or creaking sounds. They will also assess your roof gutters for any damage.

Snow Removal Strategies

If the snow accumulation is significant, you could hire professionals to carefully remove the excess snow. This can alleviate the stress on your roof and reduce the risk of structural damage.

Remove & Replace Roofing, LLC has been serving Atlanta, GA for more than 15 years. Schedule an appointment and get a free estimate today. Call us at (404) 963-7196.