Not only snow on your roof can be bothering to the eye, but it can also cause true property damage. Whether by causing the roof to collapse or by snow melting and dripping right into the living room floor. Here are some tips for clearing off snow from your roof!

"The snow is sparkling like a million little suns." - Lama Willa

When to Take Snow Off Roof

Too much snow on your roof can make it collapse.
Too much snow on your roof can make it collapse. Image source: Bob Vila

There are a couple of signs for when to take snow off your roof and they’re quite easy to spot too.

For example:

You can start by opening your windows and doors. If they’re suddenly heavier, harder to open and/or close, and feel jammed or stuck, that’s a clear sign snow is weighing on your roof.

In addition, pay attention to:

  • The pitch of your roof: because shallow pitches are more likely to cause a roof collapse
  • If new snow is accumulating on old, frozen snow: that will add up to the already existing weight and increase the likelihood of structural damages
  • Uneven distribution of snow on your roof: wind will move around snow on your roof causing the uneven distribution and snow to settle into certain areas that could cause bigger issues to your house

How much snow can your roof handle?

20 pounds is a lot of snow, don't wait that long to get a snow removal.
20 pounds is a lot of snow, don't wait that long to get a snow removal. Image source: Bob Vila

In a general matter, most types of residential roofs can take about 20 pounds of snow per square foot. However, it’s not recommended to wait and see what will happen before you deal with the snow-on-roof situation.

If you have a flat or low-slope roof, the tendency is that more snow and ice will accumulate.

Tip: If you have easy access to your roof from an interior stairway, it’s possible to use a shovel and remove snow from the roof yourself. Though you’ll need to be careful with the roof covering and with your own safety.

Meanwhile, on sloped roofs it’s easier for snow to melt and run down to the floor by itself.

Tip: A roof rake can be quite handy for sloped roofs and you can stand on the ground while pulling snow off there. Then again, remember your safety and be careful as where you stand and where the snow will fall.

What You Can Do

If you a one-story home, you can DIY the snow removal.
If you a one-story home, you can DIY the snow removal. Image source: Pixabay

If you have a house safe enough to DIY the snow removal (which is: a small, one-story home), then you need to consider these tips:

  • Anticipate where snow and ice will fall
  • Remove enough snow to take excess weight off the roof, you don’t need to do a super thorough job alone
  • Use a snow rake for snow removal
  • Be careful not to break roof shingles or damage other roof covering
  • Start from the edges
  • Plastic tools are the best for snow removal
  • Keep gutters, drains, and downspout clean

What NOT To Do

Don't hurt yourself when there are trained professionals to do the job.
Don't hurt yourself when there are trained professionals to do the job. Image source: Country Living

There are also a lot of things you need to avoid at all cost:

  • Avoid metal tools (they cause more damage to the roof and are dangerous near power lines)
  • Don’t add your weight or any equipment weight on the roof
  • Don’t use ladders
  • Hairdryers and heat guns are not proper objects to remove snow and ice off your roof
  • Open-flamed devices are completely off question for snow removal
  • If snow has hardened into ice and you have no experience in snow removal, don’t risk your safety, call a professional
  • Avoid using sharp tools - both because it won’t be efficient and it’ll damage your roof

Professional Services

Even if you’re a DIYer type of homeowner, getting a professional snow removal service is definitely the safest choice for you. Either because you can’t safely reach the roof or because there’s already leakage from an ice damn that can’t be raked off the roof, a professional roofing contractor or a professional landscaping company can help you.

Get a free quote for a roof snow removal!

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