How To Remove Snow From Your Roof

Contributed by Matt John

Children love it, and even some carefree adults love it, but when we have to leave the coziness of our den, many of us hate it. Of course we are talking about snow.  Depending upon your location, it is a trademark of the winter season, and it never fails to slow us down in any way possible.

You may be able to ignore the piles of snow on your daily commute to work, or even that which forms a blanket of white in your yard.  But you probably shouldn’t avoid dealing with the snow that piles up on your roof.

Thankfully, there are ways of getting rid of snow from your roof, other than using a shovel or some other re-purposed item. Nowadays, there is an entire industry working on providing the best solutions for removing the snow from your roof.


The Quiet Menace Called Snow

When it comes to its positioning, snow is least dangerous piled up in a corner in front of your house, or somewhere that it doesn’t come into contact with your foundations, walls, windows, or the roof. Since it’s directly on the ground, you can get rid of it pretty easily compared to other places it can crawl its freezing fingers into.

During the winter, your roof acts as a sort of tray for all the snow. It can pile up pretty quickly, and if you’re not careful, it can even inflict some serious damage to your roof, bringing about unnecessary financial costs and stress which could have been avoided.

If you live in a cold area that gets lots of snow each season, there is a high chance the following thought has crossed your mind at least once in your lifetime : Will my roof collapse under so much snow?

The answer is : No.

Luckily, there is a document called the universal building code. In it, it says that your roof is required by law to be able to withstand a greater amount of snowfall than the predicted amounts for the area you live in. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it and wait for it to melt down.

Even in areas which are normally afflicted by large amounts of snowfall, one never really gets truly accustomed to cleaning all those never ending piles and layers of white mass that have somehow magically accumulated during the night.

But people most likely will grab a tool of their liking and clean it up anyway, mumbling under their breath about the misfortune that has landed upon them.

Why? Keep reading and we’ll talk about some of the reasons why you should remove snow from your roof.


Ice Dams

According to Vince from Choice Roofing in Oklahoma, the main problem that can occur as a result of neglecting snow on your roof is the appearance of ice dams. Generally speaking, an ice dam is a cold mass consisting of many layers of snow. The bottom layer usually melts pretty quickly, creating a thin layer of ice. Meanwhile, the snow keeps falling, setting layer upon layer upon layer of snow on the ice.

Next, due to the law of gravity, the above-mentioned layers of snow slide down the steep slope of your roof, creating those beautiful sculptures made by Nature herself.

They do look pretty and are most certainly fun to chop off, but in reality, ice dams are your roofs’ arch nemesis during the colder days.

Other Problems

Some other problems that can occur from allowing snow to accumulate on your roof include:

  • Roof leaks
  • Broken shingles
  • Unnecessary repair costs  

What are the best ways to remove snow from your roof?

First of all, when removing the snow, you should only bother yourself with excessive amounts. It will be nearly impossible for you to remove all of the snow, that’s okay, because small amounts act as no threat to your roof.

However, there isn’t a universal parameter which points out the exact centimeter and the exact weight of the snow that might pose a problem. It largely depends on the building itself. But here are some signs on how to check if your roof is in danger.

First of all, while walking through the house, doing your daily chores, pay attention to the door frames and the spaces above them. In case you notice any cracks or dark moist spots, it may indicate there is already some irreparable damage done. This means you should immediately start working on removing that burden from your roof and hiring a professional who will carefully examine the damage that has already been done.

In case your level of urgency isn’t that high, you can always obtain a few tools that might make the cleaning a tad more fun. For example, a snow rake can be found in almost any hardware store. It works on the simple principle of gravity by sliding between the layers of snow and the outer surface of the roof. You needn’t apply much force, as there is little to no resistance from the white mass that has inhabited your household. When using the rake, you should avoid taking any unnecessary risks by aiming the fall of the snow as far away as possible from you.

You can always stick to the basics, climb a ladder, equip yourself with a shovel or a pole and slowly work your way upwards. But this is time consuming, and using a tool that is specifically designed for this job will make the process go much more smoothly.

The best way to remove excess snow from your roof is the way you’re most comfortable with. Make it a family activity, ask some friends to help you out, or even hire professionals if you prefer to do so. Just make sure you get that snow out of the danger zone!