The Delaware Valley experiences almost every type of weather, including heavy snow. Too much snow accumulation on your roof could cause damage. An old, deteriorating building might be at risk of structural collapse. More commonly you want to know how to safely remove snow from your roof due to ice dams. Ice formation could force water under the shingles when the snow melts. Leaks will inevitably develop that let water through the roof and into the walls.
How to Safely Remove Snow from Your Roof
- Work from the ground. You don’t want to be using a ladder in cold and icy conditions.
- Dress warmly and be mindful of your current health. Moving large amounts of snow is strenuous.
- Walk around your house and plan how to safely remove snow from your roof efficiently. Think about where the snow will fall and the best place to start.
- Extend the snow rake three to four feet beyond the eave.
- Gently pull snow toward the edge but stand clear of where it will fall.
- Do not scrape the roofing material. You don’t want to damage it.
- Work in small batches that are easy to move.
- Watch out for big icicles that could fall and hurt you.
- Work your way around the house removing as much snow as the roof rake can reach. You don’t have to get every bit of snow. Reducing the load and getting snow away from the gutters should prevent problems
Best Practices for Removing Snow from Your Roof
Resist the urge to get out a ladder so that you can reach higher up the roof. Stepping on the ladder rungs with snowy boots gets them wet. This makes your chance of slipping and falling much higher. If your weather forecast predicts multiple incoming storms, clear snow between storms. It is easier and safer to pull a few inches off at a time than tackling 12 to 20 inches of snow.
Do not use ice melting chemicals. They are meant for your driveway and sidewalk. The salts could cause your shingles or gutters to deteriorate. If you spot an ice dam, do not chip it away with a pick or apply heat with a heat gun or torch. These actions could damage the roof and cause more problems.