Winter is a beautiful time of year, but it also brings some of the most challenging problems in terms of home and roof maintenance. One of the biggest problems is the weight of heavy snow building up on the roof. To help you protect your home and maintain a worry-free winter, we’ve put together the top seven roof snow removal tips.
The Importance of Keeping Snow Off Your Roof
It’s essential to remove snow from your roof in a timely manner to avoid any further damage to your property. Snow and ice can cause your roof to sag or even collapse due to the added weight.
Additionally, the melting snow can cause severe ice dams and leaks that can damage your ceilings, walls, and interior of your property. Proper roof snow removal will prevent this from happening and ensure the safety of your property and family.
7 Tips for Safely Removing Snow From Your Roof
Removing snow from the roof is a challenging task and can be dangerous if done incorrectly. Be sure to follow these steps to ensure a successful — and safe! — project.
1. Commit to a Safety-first Approach
Before you think about removing snow from your roof, prioritize safety. Make sure to have a sturdy ladder and appropriate safety gear, such as a helmet, gloves, and non-slip footwear. It’s also a good idea to have a spotter nearby in case of any accidents.
2. Assess the Snowy Situation
Take a moment to assess the amount of snow on your roof and the structural condition. If you’re unsure about the load-bearing capacity of your roof, consult a professional. Removing all the snow may not be necessary; you might only need to clear problem areas near eaves and overhangs.
3. Use the Right Tools
Invest in the right tools for snow removal, such as a roof rake or a snow broom with a long extension pole. Avoid using sharp tools that could damage your shingles or roofing materials. Plastic shovels and rakes are safer options.
Pictured: Man using a snow rake
4. Work From the Ground
Whenever possible, remove snow from the ground level. Use a roof rake with a long handle to clear snow off your roof while standing safely on the ground. This minimizes the risk of accidents and damage to your roof.
5. Remove Ice Dams
Ice dams are a common problem during winter when snow on your roof melts and refreezes at the eaves. This can lead to water seeping into your home. Prevent ice dams by removing snow from your eaves using a roof rake or heating cables designed for this purpose.
Pictured: Ice dam
6. Remove Snow Early and Regularly
Don’t wait for the snow to accumulate too heavily on your roof. Regular, light removal is safer and more effective than tackling a heavy, packed layer of snow. Plan to clear your roof after each significant snowfall.
7. Know When to Get Professional Help
If you’re not comfortable or experienced with roof snow removal, or if you have a complex roof structure, it’s a wise decision to hire a professional. Roofing experts have the tools, experience, and knowledge to safely remove snow without causing damage.
Signs Your Roof Needs Repair or Replacement
Sometimes removing snow from your roof is not enough, and you may need to repair or replace your roof. Of course, it’s best to notice signs of damage before the cold and snow hits. However, no matter what the timing may be, get in touch with a roofing professional as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
The average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is 20-25 years — metal roofing and clay tile last a little longer. If your roof is approaching or has exceeded its expected longevity, it may be time for a roof replacement.
2. Visible Damage
Visible damage to your roof, such as missing or cracked shingles, can be a sign that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan.
3. Water Damage
If you notice water leaking into your home, it could be a sign of a damaged roof. Water damage can also be caused by ice dams resulting from heavy snow accumulation on the roof. Too many ice dams that aren’t taken care of over time can exacerbate this issue.
Time for a New Roof? Get Top-Quality Materials at Standard Supply & Lumber
The winter blues are bad enough. Don’t let a roof replacement get you down too. Instead, make the most of your project by choosing top-quality materials from leading manufacturers like GAF, CertainTeed, and more. All are available here at Standard Supply & Lumber, so our experts can help you choose the solution that best fits your needs.
Stop into one of our locations or get in touch online today to learn more.