Do you have to clear snow off your roof? That depends. If you get enough snow and the risk of ice dams is high, then yes.
As we’ve mentioned before, an ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of your roof. It keeps the water from melted snow from draining off the roof, so moisture backs up into your home. It can cause major damage to your ceilings, drywall, and attic flooring, so you really want to prevent these.
So how do you know when it’s time to remove the snow? If you get at least six inches of snowfall, and the temperature is expected to stay below freezing for a day or two, then you should definitely remove snow from your roof to prevent ice dams from forming. But ice dams can sometimes form with just an inch or two of snow. So if the weatherman is saying that outside temperatures will be warmer during the day but below freezing at night (or if your attic is warm because you didn’t complete our winterizing the roof checklist!) then you might want to remove even a little bit of snow.
How to Remove Snow From Your Roof
The easiest and cheapest form of DIY snow removal from your roof is called “roof raking.” It’s exactly as it sounds. You stand on the ground with a roof snow removal tool called a rake and use it to pull the snow off your roof.
If you choose the roof raking method, be sure to get one with rollers or bumpers on the blade so that it doesn’t scrape the surface of your roof. We don’t want you to have roof damage, especially in the winter time!
Roof raking is an excellent winter maintenance tool. If you spend an hour raking your roof every time you get a heavy snowfall, it should stay in good shape all winter.
The only problem with roof raking is that it can’t always reach the entire roof. If you live in a two-story home, or if you have a very wide, flat roof, there will probably be parts you can’t reach. In that case, the rest of the snow will have to be removed with a shovel.
If this applies to you and your home, we strongly recommend hiring a professional roofing contractor to do the shoveling. Climbing on top of a roof in the snow is dangerous. Roofers have the training and experience necessary to complete the job. We take careful precautions to prevent falls and injuries, and a do-it-yourselfer simply wouldn’t have the right skills to do this safely.
If you still have questions about snow removal, give us a call. We’re happy to answer your questions. Stay safe this winter!