It’s true that it does sometimes snow here in Idaho. And perhaps more than that it blows- which causes drifting. This can create uneven loads on our buildings.
Whether you’re looking to design, or buy a new home watch out for things that may cause drifting which could cause issues. One of the worst things that can happen in the winter is have your roof collapse :).
This really isn’t that large of a concern if your building new. The building will be built to accommodate what mother nature dishes out here in Idaho. However, if you are looking at older buildings this could still be a concern. Not one that would turn me away from a home but one that would make me look just a little bit closer.
The other thing that I would be watching for is this.
See that image? Here’s what’s going on. The roof is poorly insulated. The snow melts off the part of the roof above living spaces. Then the water freezes when it gets above the outdoor space. This is called ice damming, and can allow water to seep into the structure of the house causing additional damage. If you see a house that has this, it can be fixed with more insulation but you will also want to see if there has already been structural damage.
Some of the really bad signs-
- Can you see ice building up on top of gutter (Note: Ice dams as little as 1” thick can be a huge problem)?
- Can you see ice forming at the soffits (the little holes that let air flow through the attic)?
- Are icicles forming behind the gutter itself?
- Is ice forming on the siding (generally this will first appear at the top near the eave)?
- Is ice forming around window frames?
If this is the case with any home that you see, make sure it gets addressed properly.