UK weather: Charts show high probability of snow in UK
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Though a blanket of white snow looks beautiful from inside of your cosy home, it can pose a risk to your property – particularly if snowfall turns heavy. The Met Office has warned that temperatures are likely to plummet in the coming weeks, with the potential for showers to turn “wintry” in parts of the north.
The showers are likely to intensify today and could even fall as “snow on high ground” on November 26.
In light of this warning, experts from Roofing Megastore are urging Britons to take precautions and educate themselves on how to remove snow from their roof once the winter takes hold.
Gian-Carlo Grossi, managing director at Roofing Megastore, said: “Heavy snowfall can present a number of dangers to your property.
“Gutters can become clogged or even frozen due to snow and ice, which can lead to unsightly damage if they overflow or burst.
“Excessive snowfall left on the roof can place undue stress on the structure, which could collapse in extreme circumstances.”
However, knowing whether or not your home is at risk from snowfall can be confusing.
A light dusting is likely to be fine, but if there is danger ahead, your home could be giving off some crucial warning signs.
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Five signs snowfall could be damaging your home
Sagging ceiling boards
Mr Grossi said: “A ceiling sagging under the pressure of weight above is a sure sign your roof is carrying more than it can handle.”
If the boards, beams, or any other part of your ceiling appear to be drooping, it could be a warning that something is wrong.
Of course, ceiling boards can sag for reasons aside from heavy snowfall.
The expert added: “This could indicate the beams are old and need replacing, or that they’re suffering from rot.”
Our homes can make odd sounds for all manner of reasons.
However, unusual creaks from above may indicate that your roof space is under excessive pressure.
Mr Grossi said: “If these areas of your roof are visible in the loft, it’s absolutely vital to check their condition.
“Pay close attention and look out for cracks or other obvious signs of wear.”
Cracks in the walls and roof
According to Mr Grossi, a roof likely won’t collapse all at once. Instead, smaller warning signs may begin to appear first.
He said: “Many of the warning signs won’t just be apparent in your roof space.
“If you begin to see cracks and crevices appearing in your walls, then the structure above is suffering under excess weight, and it may be time to act and remove snow from your roof.”
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Some warning signs do come directly from your roof, however – particularly a leaking roof.
The experts said: “A roof covered with too much snow will become warped and cracked, allowing snow to drift into interior components of your roof space. As the snow melts, it can leak into the spaces below.”
Problems with doors and windows
Doors and windows can begin to change shape due to changes in temperature and are often normal during the changing seasons.
But, in some cases, it could be a dangerous sign of something more, especially when the snow is coming in fast.
Mr Grossi said: “Are your doors and windows not shutting into their frames properly, or are you perhaps struggling to open them?
“While this is more commonly due to the cold weather, it could be a sign that the frames have become warped, excessively strained by the weight on snow on the roof above.”
What to do if you think your roof is being damaged by heavy snow
In the event you believe your home is under pressure from excessive snowfall, Mr Grossi advises contacting a professional who can clear your roof safely.
However, if you do wish to do so yourself, he advises “the best way to remove snow is with a snow rake”.
This can be used to “drag snow off the roof from ground level – far safer than working at height”.
Mr Grossi added: “If you don’t have a snow rake, do not use metal tools, as these can damage roofing materials.
“Only remove snow from your roof when it’s safe for you to do so. You always have the option to call a professional, or simply wait for the snow to melt.”
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