The first snowfall looks pretty, but when storms bring heavy snow, you must think about how it’s affecting your roof. The winter wonderland that is your neighborhood won’t look so wonderful if you have to deal with a collapsing roof in freezing weather.
Is Your Roof at Risk?
In general, heavy snow is a real threat to your home’s structure, especially when it stays on the roof for a long time. But if your roof was built in accordance with local building code, it should be able to hold up under most winter storm circumstances.
Certain roof types are more at risk than others. If you have a steeply sloped roof with adequate rafter support, you have to worry the least. But if it’s only slightly sloped or completely flat, it’s more susceptible to weight buildup, since the snow won’t slide off when it begins to melt.
Additionally, any lower roofs such as on porches or entryways can suffer damage from snow sliding off the higher house roof.
Cleaning off Snow Buildup: What You Should Do
Once your roof has over 6 inches of wet, heavy snow on it, it’s time to consider removing it, especially if another storm is in the forecast. It is best to leave this job to a professional team, as falling snow and ice is dangerous and can cause severe injury.
If you do decide to undertake the mission on your own, make sure to have a partner along to help and provide assistance if anything goes wrong. Wear a helmet and goggles. Use a roof rake to gradually clear the snow off the edges, section by section, working your way upward toward the peak. Beware of using metal tools — these will conduct electricity and shock you if they hit a power line.
Don’t try to clear all of the snow away, just the top layer. Otherwise, you run the risk of scraping your shingles.
Avoid These Common Mistakes
Don’t climb on your roof to remove snow. Your added weight might cause the roof to collapse, possibly seriously injuring or even killing you.
Climbing a ladder in winter is especially dangerous, due to ice and snow buildup. Always stay on the ground if you decide to try to remove snow from your roof on your own.
You also should never use any electric-powered heating tools to defrost your roof. This includes hair dryers and heat guns.
Call Knockout Roofing if you are worried about how heavy snow is affecting your roof — we have the experienced team members and tools to get the snow-clearing job done right.