DEEP snow in Central Oregon

Oregon Home Inspector Roof Snow
Lance, your Oregon home inspector, removing snow from his own roof.

A Bend Oregon home Inspector's guide to protecting your home from very deep snow!

WOW! There is a lot of snow on the ground in Central Oregon (and maybe more on the way)! While I was working on my own home this weekend, I was thinking that many people probably have questions or concerns about how this volume of snow effects their home. Here are a few thoughts that I hope are helpful:

Snow on your roof, how much is too much?

Well, that's a very good question. Most modern homes were engineered to withstand a significant snow load. However, I climbed on the roof of my older garage this weekend and removed the snow - better safe than sorry! (That's me in the photo) The pitch of my garage roof is fairly flat -  so the snow collects easily instead of melting off. It's also open underneath so cold air above and below the roof keeps the snow from melting. These are two specific issues that can cause greater than normal snow load and accumulation. 

Here is a link to an article that talks a little about snow load and when to be concerned: Click here to read more about how much snow is too much snow.

Removing snow from your roof can be dangerous! There are roofing contractors, and snow removal companies that remove roof snow. It's difficult to find someone that isn't booked right now but here are some numbers to call:

  • Hidden Gem Property Maintenance: 541-550-3593
  • Northwest Quality Roofing: 541-647-1060
  • River Roofing Bend LLC: 541-316-7663

Ice dams building on your roof

Ice dams usually occur after a heavy snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures. Warm air inside or around your home leaks into the roof structure which warms the underside of the roof causing snow and ice on the roof to melt. The melted water will drain along the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang. The overhang tends to be at the same temperature as the outdoors and the melted water will refreeze and form an ice dam and icicles. These ice dam may cause damage to the roof, which also may result in water leaks inside the home. A local roofing contractor told me just this morning he'd had a record number of calls about leaking due to ice dams.

Keep in mind - Central Oregon weather will probably change for the better soon (I hope!) and your current ice dams will likely go away without causing significant issues but...

Take photos and make a note of where they are located. It's possible with repairs and/or some additional home maintenance they may be avoidable in the future. Here is an article that explains why they develop at the edge of your roof and what you can do about them: Click here to read more about ice dams

If you're concerned, or already seeing signs of a roof leak, call a licensed roofing contractor sooner as opposed to later because they're getting booked. Here are those phone numbers:

  • Northwest Quality Roofing: 541-647-1060
  • River Roofing Bend LLC: 541-316-7663

Clear the space around your heat pump

Heat pumps need to draw air from from the areas surrounding them (all four sides of the outdoor unit).  It is important to clear these areas of snow and ice build-up so air can freely reach the heat pump.  This will allow the heat pump to operate as efficiently as possible and will alleviate strain on the unit. I shoveled all the way around my heat pump a couple of times this weekend to make sure it had adequate airflow. If your heat pump, has any snow build up surrounding it try and get it cleared away as soon as possible.

Take a vacation!

I don't know about you but this Oregon home inspector is ready for a little sunshine! So, now that you've shoveled a mountain of snow and handled all your home maintenance issues, I suggest packing your bags and hitting the beach for a few days.  

When you go...

Leave the heat on, the faucets dripping and the cabinet doors open so your pipes are protected while you're gone.

Even better - consider a dependable house sitter to keep an eye on things while you are away, and maybe do some of the shoveling.

About your Oregon Home Inspector

As a Central Oregon Home Inspector we are fully certified, licensed, bonded and insured. Our commitment to continuing education, in order to exceed customers expectations, keeps us constantly participating in industry conferences, seminars and classes to improve our Oregon Home Inspections.


What does our Residential Home Inspection report include?

  • Lot Drainage
  • Walks & Driveway
  • Foundation & Crawl Space
  • Siding
  • Roof System
  • Attic Insulation & Venting
  • Heating & Cooling Systems
  • Plumbing
  • Water Heater
  • Electrical
  • Interior Rooms
  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Garage
  • Walls, Ceilings, & Floors
  • Doors & Windows
  • Fixtures
  • And MORE!

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