Yay! The first snowfall of the year! Isn’t it always so beautiful? Until it starts to build up on your roof, causes damage, and dangerous icicles start forming … Your excitement probably quickly turned into annoyance as you wonder; “how am I going to get all that snow off my roof!?”
By following these tips, you’ll know when and how to safely remove snow from your roof so you no longer have to worry about weight build-up and very sharp and heavy icicles!
How Do I Know It’s Time To Remove Roof Snow?
It’s important to remember that the weight of the snow is the most important factor, not the actual depth.
Did you know?
- One foot of freshly fallen fluffy snow weighs 3 lbs per square foot
- One foot of heavier wet snow can weigh 21 lbs per square foot
- Ice can weigh 57 lbs per square foot
If you know the square footage of your home, you’ll be able to do the math. A good rule of thumb to go by is; if you’ve got six to eight inches of snow on your roof, it’s time to get it off, especially if it’s a low-pitched roof.
How Can Snow Damage Your Roof?
There are many ways snow can cause damage to your home:
- Water leaking through your roof and cause water damage/flooding
- Water can freeze and expand which can hurt your gutters, shingles or siding
- Cracks in the walls
- Doors no longer close
- May eventually cause wear and tear on your support beams and frames around the house
- Cause it to completely cave-in, which can be life-threatening
Don’t Go On The Roof!
When it’s time to remove the snow from your roof, do not go up on the roof. This should always be left to a professional contractor. It’s too risky at any time throughout the year, which is why professionals wear harnesses and tie themselves off. With the proper tools and equipment, you’ll be able to reach and remove the snow safely and efficiently.
Clear A Path Around Your House First
Before you start removing snow off your roof, you’ll want to make sure every angle is easily accessible. Creating a pathway around your house will make the job much easier.
Use The Proper Tools
What is the most efficient way to remove snow from your roof? A snow rake. They’re lightweight, easy-to-use, and can extend as far as you need it too (you may need to purchase extenders to attach). Although it may not be as easy to use on a low-pitched roof, you’ll still be able to remove some snow and that’s always better than nothing.
Some of the best snow rake tools can easily be purchased on Amazon or at Rona, Lowes and Home Depot like:
- AVALANCHE! Original Roof Snow Removal System
- SnowPeeler Premium Roof Rake for Snow Removal (ideal for long or low-pitched rooves)
- Snow Joe Garelick Aluminum Snow Roof Rake
These products are easy to put together, they save your back, they’re lightweight and require little effort, and they have wheels that prevent the scraper from ruining or damaging your roof/shingles. These products can extend to reach any part of your home, even if it’s two or three storeys, which is great for removing icicles forming too. They also have a plastic sheet attached that allows the snow to follow a safe path down to the ground instead of right back at you! It’s best to ensure your kids and dogs are inside while you remove the snow.
If you’re looking for a cheaper roof rake that doesn’t have wheels, just be sure to leave a small amount of snow left on the roof so you don’t scratch or damage the shingles. These roof rakes can be purchased for under $100:
- Garant Snow Roof Rake With Three Lightweight Aluminum Handle Extensions
- ProValue Head Snow Roof Rake
- Snow Joe Telescoping Snow Shovel Roof Rake
- Midwest Rake Aluminum Snow Removal Roof Rake
Helpful tip: Don’t add salt to your roof to get rid of snow. It will ruin your shingles and your grass, plants and bushes when it falls off.
Exercise Caution Around Power Lines
Roof rakes are made of aluminum. When aluminum and power lines get together … it’s not exactly a party. We don’t need to get into the details, but just as you should be cautious with ladders and power lines, roof rakes can be equally as dangerous.