3 Roofing difference between Park City & Salt Lake

 

A 30-minute drive separates park City and Salt Lake, but the two cities have a few differences that change what homeowners need out of their roofs.

Let’s take a look at 3 main differences in roofing requirements between Park City and Salt Lake homes.

Snow Load

One of the most significant differences between Park City and Salt Lake is snow accumulation. Park City receives on average 411 inches of snow per year while Salt lake averages 60 inches of snowfall.

Because the snowfall is up to almost 7x higher in Park City than Salt Lake, the roof of a home in Park City needs to be much better than a Salt Lake roof.

The snowfall in Park City accumulates on roofs for months while in Salt Lake the snow usually disappears after a storm system.

Park City roofs need to be more watertight and have better materials used to make sure that they can withstand the snow accumulation without leaking.

Temperature Differences

Park City is significantly colder than Salt Lake during the winter. In January, the average low temperature in Park City is 9 degrees F whereas in Salt Lake it is 26 degrees F.

The temperature differences can play a huge roll in the roofing problems that homeowners will encounter. Because the temperature gets so cold in Park City, low-quality materials can crack as they contract with the cold and then expand with the heat. Even tiny cracks in shingles can be problems in park city because it creates access for water.

Water will freeze in cracks and cause them to expand, leading to more water getting in and advancing the problem.

This is one of the big reasons that we don’t install cheap, singly ply shingles in Park City; because they will likely crack and fail reasonably quickly.

The low temperature and temperature shifts during the day and night can also lead to other problems for homeowners.

Ice Dams

Ice dams are one of the most common problems that homeowners face in Park City during the winter. Ice dams are caused by a thawing and freezing process that occurs on a homes roofs.

For ice dams to form you need there to be snow on a roof, the outside temperature must be below 32 degrees F on average, and the higher portions of your roof must be above 32 degrees F.

When these 3 factors happen in harmony over sustained periods, ice dams form.

As the snow on your roof begins to melt at the top where the surface temperature is above 32 degrees F, it melts to the bottom of the roof that is below 32 degrees and freezes.

This happens because heat rises and your home is losing heat through the roof. This causes the areas above your living area to heat up while the eaves or edges of your roof that extend beyond the indoor living area maintain the outdoor temperature.

As this happens over and over, the ice dam builds in size.

Ice dams put a lot of stress on the valleys and eaves of a roof. Ice dams often cause major leaks as the ice creates cracks for water to find its way into your home.

Preventing and preparing for ice dams requires that homes have better metal details installed in the valleys of a house, better underlayment installed, and heat cable installed in problem areas.

Ice dams don’t usually form in Salt Lake as the average low temperatures don’t fall below 32 degrees for much of the winter season.

Conclusion

There are significant differences between what a homeowner requires of a roof in Salt Lake when compared to Park City. Roofs in Park City have to withstand harsher conditions that would cause many roofing systems in Salt Lake to fail.

Because homes in Park City have to deal with over 400 inches of snowfall on average, colder temperatures, and ice dam issues; Park City homeowners need to make sure that their roofs have better materials and installation practices to ensure leaks and failures don’t occur.

 
Randy Jimenez