What Snow on the Roof Can Tell You About a Home’s Insulation

Have you ever taken the time to look around your neighborhood after a snowstorm and noticed that snow accumulation is different for every home? Some of a little bit of snow, while others have none at all.

The homes reside at the same temperature, and even if the sun were hitting some houses at a different angle, that would not allow the snow to melt significantly faster on some houses. While snowmelt can be considered a good thing, since you don’t have to get on the roof to shovel it, it may also indicate poor home insulation.

What Happens if Your Insulation is not Working Properly? 

Unfortunately, your home can’t speak up and tell you the home insulation isn’t working properly. However, if you pay attention, you will see indicators when something is wrong. There are some common signs of issues with attic insulation, and we will go over those below:

Snowmelt on a roof is fast and inconsistent

When there’s not enough insulation in your attic, heat from the living areas in your home rises into the attic and seeps out through the roof. This results in snowmelt. If you notice inconsistent snowmelt, this means that the insulation where the snow does not melt is fine, and you don’t have to do anything about it. On the other hand, the areas with snowmelt issues need to be addressed.

Snow tends to melt faster where there is little to no insulation.

Ice Dams are created 

Snow melting on your roof turns into water. Then, that water flows down your roof until it gets to a colder area, typically near the eaves, where it will re-freeze. This creates what is known as an ice dam. When this happens, it blocks your gutters, which means future snowmelt cannot drain away. Water will begin to collect on your roof and can eventually get into your home, causing structural damage.

Mold or Mildew 

As the water leaks into your warm attic, it creates a hot and wet climate, perfect for facilitating mold growth. The mold or mildew will begin to eat away at your home and can be detrimental to the general health of you and your family. If you start to notice a fuzzy white substance or black stains growing in your attic, you likely have a leak due to poor insulation.

Higher Energy Bills 

Finally, poor insulation can ultimately result in higher energy bills. After all, the insulation is what keeps the heat from your HVAC system inside the house. If there is little to no insulation in your attic, the warm air can escape. If the warm air can get out, it means the cold air can also get in. Therefore, your HVAC system has to work much harder to keep your home warm, resulting in wasted energy and money.


Next time it snows, pay attention to how long it takes for the snow to melt on your roof. If it doesn’t melt right away, you should be fine. Your insulation is doing what it’s supposed to be doing. On the other hand, if you notice it melts from your roof a lot faster than it does from other houses, chances are you have insulation issues.If you live in a northern climate, you do not want to be dealing with poor insulation. However, you don’t have to worry. The professionals at A&J reliable can help you! We offer a free roof inspection. We can tell you exactly what is going on with your roof and whether we can fix it (and how much that will cost you), as well as what it might cost you to have it replaced entirely.