Rooftop snow accumulation isn’t something to take lightly. In 2018 across the U.S., structural damage from winter storms in insured losses totaled $3 billion.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, snow-induced structural damage can be caused by weight and type of snow, the slope and shape of the roof, construction, maintenance, and wind exposure. This is why it’s so important to remove snow from your roof after a big winter storm.
Before trying to tackle this problem on your own, you should know how to do the job and when to call in the professionals.
How Much Snow Is Too Much?
The height of the snow doesn’t matter. Light, fluffy snow is deeper and has more air and less water per unit volume. Heavy snow has more of a slushy and icy consistency and can do a lot of damage to rooftops.
For example, a flat commercial roof with heavy snowfall will need to have snow removed as often as possible. Even when the snow starts to melt on a flat roof, it can cause ponding. This water will freeze and add more weight to the roof.
Pitched roofs aren’t immune to the effects of snow and ice. Ice dams and clogged gutters can cause snow to build-up. Heavy amounts of snow can cause stress, damage, and roof collapse.
Signs You’re Risking Damage
If you’re wondering if you are risking damage to your roof by waiting too long to remove heavy snow, FEMA warns homeowners to look for these signs:
- Sagging ceiling
- Creaking and cracking noises
- Interior doors are not opening or closing
- Wall cracks
- Roof leaks
You won’t know the breaking point of your roof until something happens and it’s something no homeowner wants to find out.
How to Correctly Remove Snow From Your Roof
Snow removal can be dangerous if you don’t have the right tools and knowledge to avoid a slip or fall. If you need to quickly remove snow or ice before a professional can get to it, there are safe ways to make it a DIY job.
Use these tips:
- Have someone with you in case of an accident
- Remove icicles
- Use a telescopic roof rake to reach snow on your roof from the ground
What Tools Should Be Used?
There are two tools to use when removing snow. A roof rake and a shovel.
A roof rake is a good tool to have as a homeowner. You can avoid getting up on the roof by extending the rake and removing as much snow as you can reach.
A shovel is for the removal of heavier snow. This tool requires you to go up on the roof which is not recommended unless you are a professional.
Be careful to not scrape the shingles as this could cause damage or leaks.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Waiting too long to remove snow from your roof can have devastating consequences.
For professional services, contact Denver’s Best Roofers. We’ll be happy to help safely remove snow and prevent damage to your roof.