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How to Remove Snow From a Roof

Older homes or those with deteriorating roofs may experience strain after heavy snow accumulation. Additionally, heavy snow loads create conditions that cause ice dams as snow melts and refreezes along the gutters. If you’re concerned about structural strain or ice dams, you can learn how to remove snow from a roof. You should never climb onto the roof because the snow and ice make it extremely unsafe. Thankfully you can typically do this job from the ground.

Very wet and sticky snow places much more stress on a roof than dry and fluffy snow. One foot of wet snow amounts to between 6 and 9 pounds per cubic foot. Compare this to 4 feet of dry snow that will only equal about 7 pounds per cubic foot. Whether your roof has 1 foot of wet snow or 4 feet of dry snow, you should clear off what you can.

When to Remove Snow From Your Roof

  • Repeated snowfall layers are packed on your roof
  • You see cracks in drywall that could indicate structural stress
  • Your roof rafters show damage in the attic
  • Doors suddenly become sticky because this could mean structural stress
  • You have a low-pitch roof
  • You have problems with ice dams

How to Remove Snow From a Roof Directions

  1. Put on a hat and gloves because some snow will blow on you while you work.
  2. Start in a place with the heaviest snow accumulation.
  3. Place the roof rake about 3 feet above the eave.
  4. Gently pull the roof rake toward you and drag the snow over the edge.
    1. Do not scrape the roof rake hard against the shingles because you could damage them.
    2. You may leave a thin layer of snow because there is no need to clean the shingles completely.
  5. Work your way along the edge of one side of the house until you have cleared it.
  6. Extend the rake’s pole so that you can reach higher up the roof.
  7. Rake another row of snow off about 6 feet up.
  8. Repeat the process until you cannot reach any higher.
  9. If you still have concerns about ice dams, toss some roof melt tablets up on the roof.

Tools & Materials

  • Roof rake
    • Please note this is not the same as a rake meant for leaves
  • Winter hat and gloves
  • Roof melt tablets (optional)
    • There are pet friendly roof melt products available

Get a Professional Roof Inspection

Learning how to remove snow from a roof could avert disaster but will not solve pre-existing roof problems. The expert roofers at PJ Fitzpatrick can safely access your roof and explain what repairs may be needed. You may need new shingles, structural repairs, or better roof ventilation to protect you home in the future. Contact us for a roof inspection today!

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