During seasons with significant snowfall, the sheer weight of accumulated snow poses a high risk of damage to your roof. As snow and ice accumulate on your roof, ice dams, roof structure damage, and (in extreme cases) cave-ins become more likely to occur. If you think snow and ice may have already damaged your roof, it’s a good idea to schedule a roof inspection with a licensed professional before any existing issues get worse.
If you think snow and ice may have damaged your home’s roof, contact Beyond Exteriors at (703) 830-0863 to schedule a roof inspection.
Removing Snow From Your Roof Carefully and Safely
In most cases, you can remove snow from your roof on your own, but the key is to do it carefully and safely. Here are some tips and tricks to help get the job done:
- Once the snow is about 6 inches deep on your roof, you should remove it. As you remove the snow, leave around 2 inches of snow on your roof to insulate it from damage.
- If your home is one story, stand on the ground and use a snow rake to clear off your roof. If you have a two-story home, clear as much snow as you can with the rake while standing on the ground.
- Keep an eye out for overhead power lines as you work, and be sure not to accidentally hit them.
- Ensure that any snow you remove from your roof won’t block driveways, walkways, the exterior doors of your house, or your gutters’ downspouts.
- If you aren’t able to remove all the snow from your roof with the rake, your roof will need to be shoveled by a professional.
- Never use mechanical snow removal devices, like snow blowers, on your roof.
- Do not use salt on your roof, as it will damage and discolor your roofing.
Tools and Methods for Snow Removal
Part of safely removing snow from your roof is knowing which tools and methods will help you and which are dangerous. Here’s what you should consider:
First, consider if you have a flat, sloped, or pitched roof. Some homeowners can access their flat roofs from a stairway and safely shovel the snow. Homeowners with sloped or pitched roofs need to use the correct snow removal tools, like a snow rake, to remove the snow.
The material your roof is made of matters too; metal, slate, wood, or asphalt shingle roofs handle snow and tools differently. Make sure you’re using a tool that works for the type of material you have. Always be gentle, so you don’t damage your roof.
To keep your roof safe while you remove snow, you need to make sure you’re using the correct tools. Here’s what you need:
- A roof rake specially designed rake for removing snow from roofs
- Sturdy ladder
- Ladder harness or roof harness
Avoid using tools such as electric heating tools, harsh chemicals, metal shovels and rakes, and tools with sharp edges or points
As you clear snow from your roof, you must be aware of your surroundings. Start removing snow from the ridgeline and work toward the eaves. Also, be sure to pay attention to gutters and downspouts and avoid skylights or other differences in the roof.
It’s also important to pay attention to your surroundings on the ground where you’re clearing the snow. Keep people, animals, and property safe by paying attention to where the snow is falling, icicles, and ice dams that could cause injuries or property damage.
Finally, pay attention to the weather. You should only clear snow off your roof in good conditions. Harsh winter weather can make clearing snow dangerous and should be avoided.
Need help caring for your roof? Call the roof experts at Beyond Exteriors at (703) 830-0863. We’re here whenever you need us.