Roof Shape for Houses and How The Angles Impact Snow Melt and Insulation

When snow falls in your neighborhood, you’ll notice that different roof shape for houses have different amounts of snow on them while it stays cold enough for the snow to remain on the ground. There are a lot of factors as to why a home has snow melting in certain places and not in others (or not at all) but one of the more important factors in how snow melts is the geometry of the roof, and we’re going to take a look at good and bad roof shapes for houses and snow melt.

Roof Style for Houses Effect Snow Melt and Insulation

A good rule of thumb when it comes to roof geometry; the simpler the roof design, the more likely the snow will melt evenly and cleanly.

This roof shape has a very good amount of snow left on it, indicating a good amount of insulation. The roof is level, with no attic windows or other hills or valleys in the roof itself, making it easier to insulate. The roof does have a spot on the left side with some melt, and given the tiny sliver of roof that it covers, insulation may not have properly been install on the sides of the house. A good rule of thumb when it comes to roof geometry; the simpler the roof design, the more likely the snow will melt evenly and cleanly, with less ice dams and better insulation.


Side by side comparision of roof design for houses

Look at the roof shape for houses in old neighborhoods. You’ll see the more efficient house roof shape designs!

The left house is insulated very poorly in this picture, and the uneven shape of the roof is a big culprit in why it’s difficult to properly insulate. The severe angles on the attic also mean that when snow melts from the top, it’s more likely to freeze on the top layers of snow that it falls on, causing potential blocks of ice and snow to fall from the house, creating a dangerous situation for homeowners. The house on the right, with a simple attic and sound insulation, benefits also from the covered entrance to the house in front of the roof. Any potential danger from melting snow and ice is prevented by the entrance.

When building a house, the geometry of your roof shape may be something you don’t factor in your final decision. If you live in an area with snow though, making sure your house can handle large snowfalls without damaging your home or risking injury or damage from icy debris should be high on your list of priorities. Remember; the simpler the geometry, the simpler the insulation, and the more money you save on heating and cooling costs.

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