The first winter snow has fallen. You look outside, across your yard and around your neighbors’ homes at the white sheet that has encompassed the landscape. It’s made a peaceful blanket outside, and everything is still.
But, when you step outside, you notice something strange. Your roof is bare. There are patches of snow, but your roof doesn’t have the white blanket you see across your neighbors’ houses. Why is the snow melting faster on your roof? We’re here to help you find out.
In this article, we will describe the most likely reason that the snow is melting on your roof. We will also discuss what this means for your home and what you can do about it. Roofing problems can be daunting, but we are here to break it down for you. So, let’s begin.
What Does Melting Snow on Your Roof Mean?
Typically, when the snow on your roof melts faster than the snow on the surrounding houses, you’re dealing with an insulation problem. In short, the heat in your home is rising into the attic instead of staying in your living space. Not only does this mean that the heat may be escaping your house, but it also means that you will pay more to warm your home during the winter.
Hot air rises. Unfortunately, when you have poor attic insulation, this means that the warm air from your furnace continues to rise above your living space, through your attic, and out of your home. Therefore, your furnace has to overwork to heat your home because the warm air continues to escape. This creates excessive energy expenditures and higher utility costs.
When this warm air moves into your attic, it also heats your roof. This causes the snow to melt prematurely and independent of the outdoor temperatures. In general, the snow on your roof should melt according to the temperature and weather outside. With poor insulation, however, your home temperature melts the snow. The temperature inside of your home should not affect the snow on your roof. Thus, if you are seeing the snow melt on your roof before that of your neighbors, you likely need better attic insulation.
As an overview, if the snow is melting on your roof before anyone else’s, you likely have poor attic insulation. This is because the warm air from your furnace rises out of your living space and into your attic. The warmth heats your roof, causing the snow to melt. In addition, the heat escapes your home. This means your furnace works even harder! With this heat escape comes many difficulties for your home and roof. Let’s explore those now.
Problems with Snow Melting on Your Roof
Alright, so the snow melts before it’s supposed to. What’s the big deal with that? Unfortunately, the early melting of snow on your roof can lead to many problems for your home. Besides using more energy to heat your home, the warming of your attic space and roof can also cause damage to the structure of your home.
Here are a few reasons that melting snow on your roof can be an ominous sign:
- The melting snow may refreeze, causing ice dams.
When your roof is warmed by the heat in your attic, the snow atop it melts. As it melts, the water runs down your roof. However, the lower points of the roof are often colder because the heat does not reach the overhanging parts. When the water reaches these colder areas, it refreezes.
With the refreezing, ice dams form. Unfortunately, ice dams block the path of the flowing water and cause it to pool and freeze. Ice dams cause many additional problems for your roof.
To begin, ice dams grow heavier as more water pools and freezes. These ice dams often hang from gutters and other exterior structures of your home and roof. Because they are heavy, they pull at your roof, gutters, fascia, eaves, and more. Ice dams can actually cause your gutters and fascia to separate from your roof and home. To prevent ice dams, you have to limit snow melting prematurely on your roof. You can do this with adequate attic insulation.
- The water can penetrate below your shingles and travel into your home.
Besides external damage to your home, ice dams can also cause internal problems. Because ice dams block the path for melted snow to run off of your roof, water pools instead. Though shingles are meant to withstand water running down your roof, they are not able to protect your home from pooling water.
As the water pools from the ice dam, it can penetrate the shingle barrier. From there, it can seep into the underlying structure of your roof and into your home. Most homes are made with wood construction, and wood does not withstand water damage. As wood becomes wet, it can rot and lose its stability. Therefore, ice dams can cause the entire structure of your roof to suffer.
When the water seeps through, it can also leak into your attic. This can cause water damage to your ceilings, walls, and other home structures. Overall, premature snow melting on your roof can cause ice dams, which leads to water pooling and leaking into your home. This can be devastating!
To protect your home from water damage, you have to prevent early snow melting on your roof. Snow should melt according to the temperature outside instead of your interior home temperature. When the snow melts appropriately, the water can run off of your roof. But with early melting, areas of your roof are colder and cause refreezing, which forms ice dams and leads to roof damage. With proper attic insulation, you can avoid the damages associated with untimely snow melting on your roof.
- Poor insulation causes higher energy bills.
In addition to causing damage to your roof and home, snow melting on your roof indicates that you have poor insulation. This means that it will be harder to heat your home throughout the winter. As your furnace releases warm air into your home, this hot air rises. With poor attic insulation, it continues to rise into your attic and out of your home.
Because the warm air escapes your living space, your furnace has to overwork to keep your home comfortable. This uses more energy and costs more money. To prevent excessive heat loss, you have to properly insulate your attic.
If you see the snow melting on your roof before your neighbors, this likely means you have poor insulation in your attic. Inadequate insulation causes the snow to melt early, which causes ice dams and water damage. In addition, you will have to expend more energy to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, meaning your energy bills will rise. To prevent these undesirable outcomes, attic insulation is a necessity.
What Can You Do About Snow Melting on Your Roof?
Now you understand why the snow melting on your roof is often not a good sign. But, is there anything you can do about it? Good news! There is something, or many things, that you can do to prevent damage to your roof and home.
Here are some things you can do to keep your home protected from snow melting prematurely on your roof:
- Have Proper Attic Insulation Installed
The best way to avoid the complications of early snow melting is to have new attic insulation installed. If your home has insulation but you still notice this problem, the insulation has likely aged and is no longer meeting the demands of your house. If you do not have insulation currently, then having some installed is a sure way to prevent the formation of ice dams while also cutting energy costs to heat your home.
You can find more information about attic insulation and its benefits by visiting our website here.
- Keep Your Gutters Clean
If you are dealing with snow melting on your roof and forming large ice dams, you may also benefit from thoroughly cleaning your gutters. Your gutters are especially susceptible to clogging after the fall months. When the leaves fall from the trees, they often land on your roof and travel into your gutters. This blocks your gutters, preventing the melting snow from flowing off of your roof.
When the water is trapped on your roof, it freezes as the temperature drops. This will worsen ice dams, which can harm your gutters, your roof, and the interior of your home. Overall, keeping your gutters clean prevents excessive ice dam formation and protects your home as the snow melts from your roof.
- Schedule a Roof Inspection
If you are dealing with the snow melting from your roof, it may be best to schedule an inspection with a professional roofing company. The expert roofers can assess your roof for signs of damage, whether that is pre-existing or due to the complications of ice damming and water pooling.
Besides checking for exterior problems with your roof, roofing companies can look for any signs of leaking into your home. This can allow for rapid identification of problems as well as immediate repairs. In addition, roof inspectors can examine your attic insulation and determine its effectiveness.
A thorough roof inspection allows your roofing professional to identify any signs of roof damage, leaking, or insulation problems. With a detailed inspection, your roofer can recommend repairs to keep your home protected both in the winter and throughout the rest of the year.
There are many ways to protect your home from the issues associated with snow melting on your roof. From scheduling an inspection to having a professional install attic insulation, you can ensure your home will be safeguarded through the winter.
When you notice that the snow melts on your roof before any of your neighbors’ homes, it is worth looking into a solution. Early snow melting can be a sign that you have poor attic insulation, which can cause many issues. From higher energy costs to roof damage, you want to ensure that your home is protected.
To keep your home safe throughout the winter, it is imperative to install adequate attic insulation. In addition, cleaning your gutters and repairing your roof at any sign of damage can preserve the structure of your home. When you need help keeping your roof sturdy and your home warm, the Discount Roof team is here to help.
When in Doubt, Call in the Professionals!
Roofing problems can be stressful. Let us take the pressure off by scheduling an appointment with our roofing professionals. At Discount Roof, we provide every service to protect your roof and home. With exceptional attic insulation services, you will see a decrease in energy costs and you will know with certainty that your home has a sturdy roof overhead.
Attic insulation is vital to keeping your home comfortable and stable. If you notice the snow is melting too early on your roof, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and receive the best attic insulation that any roofing company can offer!