Are you having 2016 Bend Oregon Snowmageddon Deja vu??? This is what I thought when I glanced at the 20 or so inches of light fluffy powder piled on the roofline of my garage this morning.  With now more snow expected in the coming days my mind immediately went back to the rumors floating around about the vast quantities of homes damaged by the massive snowstorms that hit Bend during the winter of 2016-2017.

Although this was only two years ago, my mind could not quite recall off the lessons learned from our last snowmageddon, so I decided to call my friend Dave Peterson with Prime Home Inspection for a quick refresher. I asked him to chime in and recap the top snow related issues he encountered during the 2016-2017 winter and how you can address these now to mitigate the chance of damage to your home.

Here are Dave’s top 3 issues and how to avoid them:

 Ice Dams

Hard to believe that three years ago very few people knew the potential damage to a home that could be created by snow left piled high on roof eaves, soffits, and valleys which can create ice dams.  As warm air in the attic melts snow, water runs down the roof and once it hits the eave or soffit, the water freezes forming ice. Roof valleys are the most prone areas to this ice forming, and as the ice builds it works its ways under the shingles and into the sheathing, eventually dripping into your attic.  This can be prevented in multiple ways.  Dave recommends installing heat tape in your valleys and above eaves in the fall.  Since it is a bit late for installing tape the best way to prevent this is to use a roof rake to pull snow off of your eaves and out of your roof valleys.  If areas are to hard to reach you can hire a licensed and bonded professional to come out an take care of this for you.

Snow Load

In the case of 2016, we experienced multiple storm cycles over several months,  Snow left on roofs settled, creating piles of dense snow on roofs that overloaded roof trusses, and in some cases roofs collapsed, in many cases roof trusses were overloaded and damaged. If we experience prolonged snowfall that increases the snow load on our roofs we could experience more truss damage.  This is why it can be necessary to get all of the snow off your roof if more storm cycles hit before the current snow melts.  Once again, hire an experienced professional to do this.  Dave says he’s seen a lot of damaged roofs from inexperienced people trying to remove the snow themselves.

Snow/water run off in crawl spaces 

If not draining properly snow melt will collect in low spots.  Often this water can be close to your home as it melts off of a roof, down gutters that drain right near the house.  The excessive water runoff can make its way into your crawl space if it pools near the foundation, or through foundation vents that are not properly protected by vent wells.  You can prevent water intrusion by shoveling snow away from low areas, properly installing stemwall vent wells, and by extending gutter drains out away from your home.

Follow this link if you want to learn more about Prime Home Inspection and the services they offer.  And remember when performing work on your home, always seek out a licensed and bonded professional with experience in their field.

Thanks Dave for taking time out of your day to share some knowledge with my clients!


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