St Louis Roofing: Article About Designing Your New Roof For Winter
When considering building a new home or commercial building or extensively remodeling an existing one, it will pay big dividends to consider how the roof will handle the Missouri snow during its lifetime.
Homeowners are encouraged to contact a St Louis roofing contractor who can recommend a system that will allow snow to slide off the roof as quickly as possible. First and most importantly, this is done by using the power of gravity.
A steeper roof will obviously allow snow to slide off more quickly than one that is flatter. Roof pitch is a ratio that is used to describe exactly how steep a roof is. The roof pitch is determined mathematically by expressing a ratio of the change in vertical height, called the rise, over the horizontal span, called the run.
The pitch is the amount of rise for each 12 inches of run. A roof that rises 6 inches over a run of 12 inches has a pitch ratio of 6:12. In that case, if a roof has a 12-foot span from its eaves to the peak, the peak would rise 6 feet above the eaves.
The proper minimum roof pitch varies by locale.
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Areas with heavier snow with a higher moisture content (the water equivalency), like St Louis, needs a higher pitch. Wet snow is up to seven times heavier than the dry snow more common in the West.
An accumulated snowfall on the roof has only one advantage - it acts as an insulator to keep cold away from the building below. However, leaving snow accumulation on a roof, which partially melts during warmer daytime temperatures and then freezes again during the night, is called ice damming and can be hazardous if left untreated. If ice damming occurs, a qualified roofing contractor should be called as soon as possible.
Selecting roofing materials that will better handle the snow load is another important consideration. Metal roofs are the most slippery and shed snow relatively quickly. Shingle roofs, for instance, are made of rougher materials that slow the transit of snow and need steeper slopes.
Designing a building's roofing system is more than determining materials and roof pitch. Plan for safety by using architectural designs that send snow away from doorways, walkways or decks. The design of a new building allows architects, engineers and homeowners the luxury of foreseeing anticipated weather problems. They can then use all the newest technology and design techniques to protect the building and its inhabitants.