Snow on the roof

sherrmannFebruary 11, 2008

Is snow on the roof an indicator of insulation or its lack?

I've never been in my attic, so I have no idea about its insulation. However, I've noticed that the snow on my roof remains as deep as it is on the ground, but my neighbors' roofs seem to become snow-free a day or two after a snowfall. Also, I know my attached garage and attached three-season room have no insulation whatsoever (the roofing nails show through), and the snow over those areas remains the same as the snow on the roof of the rest of the house.

The house is a ranch, about 1500 sq ft., at the back of a cul-de-sac in SE Wisconsin, faces south, built in 1968.



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Snow on the roof is melted by direct sunlight. Does your house get less sun than your neighbor's house?

The areas of your house with no insulation on the roof (garage and 3 season room) should have snow on them for a while. If they aren't heated rooms, they should have snow.

The fact that snow is not melting on your roof means that house heat is not getting into the attic to melt the snow quickly. Maybe you have better attic insulation than your neighbor.

Why don't you take a trip up into your attic and look at the insulation?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 10:18AM
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Maintaining good snow cover on your roof is usually indicative of good insulation, good ventilation, or a combination of both.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 10:18AM
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Snow on your roof is a good thing.
All things being equall as far as exposure and sun, snow remaining on the roof means two things;

Your insulation is adequate to keep heat loss to a minimum through the ceiling.

Your attic/roof is ventilated properly to avoid excessive heat from the heatloss of the ceiling areas to melt the snow.

Ventilation is important to avoid excessive moisture, but a visual inspection of amount and quality of insulation is still important.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 10:20AM
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I am glad I asked! I can worry about other things now. Thank you very much for your responses - I sure like your answers!

As for looking for myself - maybe. Probably not. It's got to be old and I haven't the wherewithal to replace it right now, so I might do more harm than good by disturbing things. Thanks again.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 12:39PM
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