Before we talk about how to remove the snow from your roof, let’s first take a look at why snow removal is necessary. The purpose of removing snow from your home is to keep excess weight off of your roof. Minimizing the stress on your roof is a great way to prevent leaks and cave-ins. Snow removal is also a way to prevent ice dams from forming. What are Ice dams? An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. By removing ice dams, you’re more likely to prevent damaging the inside of your home.
When deciding the right time to get roof snow removal, it’s also important to take into account how heavy the snow is. Wet, heavy snow can weigh 6 or more times as much as lighter dryer snow. One cubic foot of snow can typically range in weight from as little as 0.26lbs (light, dry snow) to as much as 1.66lbs. (heavy, wet snow). If you step outside and pick up the snow and it seems heavy and wet, that’s one factor that might indicate you should get your roof cleared sooner rather than later. A general rule of thumb is to remove the snow from your roof for every 6 inches of snow that falls. Is there any way to get around removing snow from your roof? How often you need to get your roof cleared also depends partly on the weather forecast. If 6 inches of snow falls on your roof over nite and the following daytime low temperatures are forecast to stay above freezing for a couple of days, you probably don’t need to get the snow removed—because it will likely melt soon enough and never become an ice dam. However, if 6 inches of snow falls one night and another 6 inches of snowfall is forecast for later in the week, or if the temperature remains below freezing, you’ll want to remove the snow ASAP. Or better yet, call a roof snow removal service right away and schedule your roof snow removal in advance – for shortly after the second storm is forecast to arrive. This way, you’ll get both snowfalls removed from your roof with one phone call, and you’ll be one of the first in line during a busy time for local roof snow removal companies.
If you’re going to remove the snow yourself, it may seem like an overwhelming process. But with the right tools, you’ll be done in no time and feel prepared to tackle the job after the next big snowstorm! The two most common ways to remove snow from your rooftop is by raking or shoveling. A roof snow rake is like a 20-ft-long aluminum hoe that homeowners us to lighten the structural load on their roof and to reduce the formation of an ice dam. People have been injured, and even killed, from falling roof ice, so be extremely careful if you’re raking a roof on which a large ice dam has formed. If the ice dam is severe, hire a roofer to remove the roof’s snow load. Shoveling the snow off your roof is a more dangerous alternative that will require a ladder, snow shovel, and a bit of help from a trusted spotter. Have your spotter below help to stabilize the ladder, but be sure to warn them that snow will come raining down. Once atop the ladder, extend the snow shovel as far as you can reach and pull the snow back towards you. Do not slide the shovel up the roof, as this could damage the shingles. Use a shovel with a plastic edge, not a metal one, because the plastic is less likely to damage your shingles.
With products on the market like heat cables and netting that are intended to be used in replacement of typical snow removal tools, it may seem like a tempting alternative to removing snow using less conventional methods. Be warned though, these products hardly ever get the desired outcome and run up your electric bill along the way. Consider doing some research before investing money in products like these, as most people don’t have much success with these items. Also avoid using any salt products on your roof, as you will run the risk of discolored shingles and dead grass or plants from overly salted roof water.