Is Snow on Roof Good or Bad? What You Need to Know About Melting Roof Snow and Attic Insulation

We’re comparing two homes photographed within minutes of each other a few days after a good snow fall.

If you go driving down your neighborhood a day or two after a fresh snowfall, you might notice varying degrees of snow cover on your neighbors roofs; some are still completely covered up with snow, while others are spotted with snow in only certain areas, while others have absolutely no snow at all on their roof. What’s the difference in these houses? The answer lies in the insulation, or lack of insulation, in the house.

No snow? No Insulation! This house is losing heat and it's causing the snow to melt off the roof. Snow on roof good or bad?

No snow? No Insulation! This house is losing heat and it’s causing the snow to melt off the roof.

So, is snow on roof good or bad? We’ll look at two houses that were photographed on the same day with minutes of each other to get an idea of the cosmetic differences between good and poor insulation. We’ll start with one that is almost completely devoid of snow save for a bit at the edges of the roof. The remainder of the roof has been leaking heat from inside the home, causing the snow that was on it to melt and evaporate well before the temperature outside dictated melting. This is a clear sign that the insulation in this house is lacking, as heat is leaking out of the roof of your house instead of being contained inside of it. The less snow you see on a house, the more money that homeowner is losing trying to keep a poorly insulated home heated.

Snow on roof good or bad? Snow means heat in the house! This home does a much better job at keeping the heat inside thanks to some insulation.

Snow on roof means heat in the house! This home does a much better job at keeping the heat inside thanks to some insulation.

In contrast to the previous house, this house has snow covering it in a single blanketed layer. This means that the insulation of this house is exceptional, as no heat is leaking out of the house, and the surface temperature of the roof is staying cool enough to prevent any of the snow from melting off. You can also note that there are no icicles, meaning that the roof isn’t even allowing the snow directly on the roof to melt. When that layer of snow melts beneath the top, the melting snow drips down the slanted roof and off the house, back into the cold air, causing icicles to form. This melting and refreezing snow can cause ice to get into the shingles of your house, which can cause water damage and leaky roofs when the ice melts.

Snow on roof good or bad? You know the answer! Now that you have a better idea of what snow melt on a house means, take a look at your house the next time you have a snowfall, and if you’re seeing a good amount of melting on your roof, it may be time to take a good look at your insulation and consider upgrading as soon as possible, before you spend another winter melting up all of your roof snow before Mother Nature can take care of it herself!

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