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Columbus Roofing: Article About Winterizing

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Central Ohio sometimes has an overabundance of snowfall during the winter months of the year. While snowstorms of six to eight inches happen about once or twice during the wintertime, it is not uncommon for a storm to deliver more than a foot of the white stuff. One way that homeowners can deal with the excess snow is by having a Columbus roofing contractor install a snow break. These devices can help protect homes from damage caused by falling chunks of snow or ice.

On a typical asphalt shingle roof, three rows of snow breaks should be installed. These are placed horizontally, with the first one located about 15 inches up from the roof's edge. The next row should be one to two feet above the first, but staggered to the left or right. The third row is placed about four feet directly above the first row. It is only necessary to install these three breaks on one slope of the rooftop. Homes closer to Lake Erie, where heavy lake effect snows can fall, may need more rows of the breaks.

Roofers can either use a seam mount or a surface mount to install the breaks. For the seam mounting, hex screws are used. This method is best for houses with a metal or slate tile roof.

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On asphalt shingle roofs, a surface mounting is best. The breaks can be fastened with adhesive construction cement or self tapping screws drilled into the roof and then sealed with a bead of caulk. The breaks are left on the roof permanently and are not taken off when winter ends.

Snow breaks come in a variety of shapes and heights. The taller and wider the break, the more snow it can hold back. The ability to hold more snow is not necessarily a good thing, as the snow's weight may be more than some roofs can handle. A good rule of thumb is that the break's height should be equal to the roof's seam measurement.

The benefits of installing snow breaks include their ability to stop large chunks of snow and ice from falling and damaging the gutters and downspouts. Another benefit of their installation is to stop these big clumps from falling on someone standing at the doorway of the house. By directing the melting snow and ice in a particular direction, the breaks can also help to minimize ice slicks that can cause dangerous slippery spots on porches and front steps.

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