Best Roof Designs for Houses to Withstand the Winter

Published On: May 27, 20210 Comments on Best Roof Designs for Houses to Withstand the WinterTags: , Last Updated: February 6, 20245.2 min read

When building a home in areas that experience heavy snowfalls during winter, consider installing a roof house design to withstand the pressures. When there’s excess snow on the rooftop, your house can cave in and cause property damages or loss of life. The best roof design should allow snow or ice to quickly melt or slide off the roof without causing any significant damage. A roofing company with many decades of experience in building homes, such as, can help you design such roofs.

Best Roof Designs for Houses to Withstand the Winter

Before installing a roof on your home, consider the sturdiness and pitch of your roof. This guide explores the basics of roofs that can withstand winter.

Factors to Consider when Designing a House to Withstand Winter

If you live in a region with snowfalls during winter, you should build a house that doesn’t allow snow to accumulate and rest on the rooftop.

Here are the factors to consider to build the best roof design plans to withstand winter.

  • Types of roofing materials to install
  • Roof angles (pitches) that allow snow to slide off the roof
  • Number of openings on the roof

Now, let’s look at how the three factors will affect your roof design for winter climates.

1.    Types of Roofing Materials to Install

Some roofing materials tend to wear out faster when used in extremely snowy climates, increasing roof maintenance costs. For that reason, you should invest in a roofing material that can withstand the winter and allow the snow to melt or slide easily. The best roofing materials for winter should provide additional insulation for your home when properly installed. They should also protect your house against the impacts of the cold, snowy weather. Lastly, the roof material should offer little resistance to snow. Here are some of the snowy-friendly roofing materials that can withstand the winter.

Metal Roofing Materials

So far, metal is the best roofing material that can withstand the devastating impacts of snowfalls. It has very little resistance against the snow, allowing snow to slide off the roof more quickly when heated up by the sun. Roofing materials that offer much resistance to the accumulating snow will slow down the melting process. When the snow or water takes longer to run off the roof, the chances are high that it will freeze again and form an ice dam.

Pro Tip: Since metal has a zero R-value, a house with a metal roof in a snowy climate will need additional insulation. Otherwise, the energy bill may increase significantly.

Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles

An alternative roofing material that can withstand the snow in winter is fiberglass asphalt shingles. Although these shingles are not as smooth as a metal roofing material, they can still allow snow to melt and slide from the roof. The good news is that fiberglass asphalt shingles are less costly than metal roofing materials. Also, you’ll not need additional insulation because the asphalt shingles offer insulation that can help retain heat in your house’s interior. Unfortunately, asphalt shingles have shorter lifespans than most roofing materials. They may also not withstand strong winds of up to 135 miles per hour.

Slate Roofing Material

For many years, slate has been a popular roofing material due to its durability and stunning appearance. Natural slate can last for up to 100 years when well maintained. It performs very well in extremely cold temperatures, allowing it to withstand the winter. Another reason slate is a perfect roofing material is that it can withstand fire, hailstorms, and strong winds of up to 100 miles per hour. Slate also works best on sloped roofs, making it perfect for regions that receive lots of snow. Unfortunately, slate roofing materials are very costly and heavy, calling for additional structural support during installation.

Synthetic Tiles

Another roofing material that can withstand the winter is synthetic tiles. They are extremely lightweight and highly durable, making them perfect roofing materials for residential and commercial properties. They can withstand winds of up to 155 mph. The good news is that synthetic tiles are also resistant to freeze and thaw cycles. For that reason, no ice or snow can damage your roof in any way. Their R-Value is above 2.0, making them highly energy-efficient because they help to insulate your home.

Best Roof Designs for Houses to Withstand the Winter - ice

2.    Roof Angles/Pitches

Roof angles can also influence whether a roof will withstand the winter or not. Angled roofs tend to handle greater loads than flat roofs structurally. When snow accumulates on a flat roof, it can collapse faster than a sloped roof due to the weight of the snow. During the constant freezing and thawing in winter, a pitched roof will allow the melting ice to slide off the roof quickly. If the roof is flat, the melting snow will go nowhere. It will rest and refreeze to become a heavy block of ice under the snow. If you live in a region with a snowy climate, don’t install a flat roof in your home. Instead, choose a steeper pitched roof that allows snow to melt and slide off the roof. A simple gable-style roof will work best. Complex roof designs with several angles and corners may also disrupt the melting snow and ice flow on the roof.

3.    Openings on the Roof

Another factor that can affect your roof’s ability to withstand the winter is the number of openings on the roof. Each opening offers an opportunity for water from the melting ice to get into your house. Such openings include chimneys, skylights, and bathroom vents. If there are more openings on your roof, the chances are high that your roof will leak, especially when the materials sealing the openings get damaged. Inspect the roof openings more frequently to ensure that they are in good working condition.

Final Words

Choosing the right roofing materials that can withstand the winter can help you maintain your home’s structural integrity. Install a roofing material that can withstand wind, ice, and snow without getting damaged. If you don’t know what load your roof can support, consider working with a roofing contractor to give you some roof house design ideas.

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