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St Louis Roofing: Article About Ice and Snow Damage

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St. Louis gets more than 17 inches of snow on average each year, and most of that snow falls in January and February. Some residents assume that if enough snow falls, they will notice a problem, but this isn't always true. Many homeowners find themselves calling St Louis roofing companies because they came home one day and found that the ceiling collapsed and that their living rooms are full of melted snow and ice. The cold temperatures, ice and snow associated with winter can significantly damage roofs, but homeowners who work with local roofing companies will reduce the damage they experience.

Two of the best tools for reducing winter damage to roofs are an insect screen and a heating cable. Insect screens fit over any type of opening on the roof, including vents and chimneys. The screens are strong enough to last all winter long and keep insects from getting inside. Insect screens also offer some protection from birds, rodents and small animals. A simple screen can keep those animals from getting in the house and living or hibernating.

A heating cable is another great way to protect roofs against winter damage. Sometimes called a roof cable or a roof heating cable, the cable looks like any other type of wire but has a heating element inside.

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Once connected to an outlet and powered on, the cable heats up and spreads warmth along the wire to keep the roof at a warmer temperature than the surrounding air. This allows ice and snow to melt and fall into the gutters, which will move the moisture away from the roof.

Heating cables also do a good job of preventing ice dams. Any time the city experiences even the smallest of temperature changes, ice dams can form. Warm temperatures melt the frozen ice, and cooler temperatures cause the ice to freeze in its new location. These dams can eventually become so large and heavy that the weight rips the gutters and downspouts off the house or leads to the ceiling collapsing.

Icicles are another common problem experienced in winter. These icicles often form on the edges of gutters and keep melted snow from reaching the downspouts. This can cause the water in the gutters to freeze and eventually drag the gutters off the house. Heating cables placed near the edges of the roof and along the sides of the gutters can melt accumulated snow and ice and prevent icicles from forming.

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