Any homeowner who has spent more than one or two winters in the North knows how much snow can accumulate on a roof and how fast it can build up. Chances are anyone who lives in the North also knows how devastating snow and ice accumulate on the roof can be for the structure below. If you are looking for some roof snow removal tips that work then this is the article you do not want to gloss over! The team of roofing experts here at Stay Dry Roofing have years of experience working with winter roof care and maintenance including snow and ice removal. We have seen first hand how damaging winter weather can be for the homes and businesses in the area and we are here to help! If you have any concerns at all about your roof this winter or you have questions about to care for your roof, give us a call.
Why do I need to get the snow removed from my roof?
The main reason you should keep your roof as snow-free as possible during the winter is that this is a crucial step in preventing ice dams from forming on your roof. Ice dams can’t form without snow because they rely on snows melting and re-freezing on the roof. If you’re able to prevent ice dams, you’re far more likely to prevent your roof from leaking and damaging the inside of your home. And this all starts with keeping the amount of snow on your roof at a minimum. Another reason roof snow removal is so important is that it’s a good idea to keep all that excess weight off your roof. Snow can get quite heavy and ice that forms from refreezing snow melts can be even heavier and put a lot of stress on the support structures of your home. As a rule of thumb, one square-foot of snow that’s one-inch deep weighs about a pound. If your roof has 12 inches of snow on it, that could easily amount to thousands of pounds of stress on your roof, which is much more than most roofs are rated to safely support for long periods of time. That’s not even counting the weight of any ice dams that may form as a result of leaving the snow on your roof; just one cubic foot of ice weighs 57 pounds, and a typical ice dam can weigh thousands of pounds. So, finding and implementing roof snow removal tips that work is one of the best things you can do to protect your property this winter.
How do I know when roof snow removal is necessary?
There is some debate among roofing contractors and homeowners as to how much snow and ice is too much to have building up on a roof. It depends partly on the age of the roofing system, they style roof you have, the materials used, how well the roof has been maintained, and the environmental factors that are at a play. Here at Stay Dry Roofing, we think a good rule of thumb is to get your roof cleared after every 6 inches of snowfall. If you prevent too much snow from piling up on your roof, it’s much harder for ice dams to form and you can certainly stop worrying about any sort of roof cave-in. If you know your area is prone to massive snow dumps over a short period of time with winter storms, or you have had issues with ice dams and heavy snow loads in the past, you are going to want to stay on top of snow removal and do it more often.
When deciding the right time to get roof snow removal, it’s also important to take into account how heavy the snow is. Snow can vary in its weight by quite a bit. Wet, heavy snow can weigh 6 or more times as much as lighter dryer snow. One cubic foot of snow can typically range in weight from as little as 0.26lbs (light, dry snow) to as much as 1.66lbs. (heavy, wet snow). Wet snow that seems damp and leaves your gloves or clothes damp may indicate a need for more routine snow removal. Soft, light powdery snow can accumulate more without being too heavy. Though it is important to note that 12 inches of light fluffy snow can get wet and heavy if there is a small period of thawing temperatures or heavier wetter snow falls on top of it. How often you need to get your roof cleared also depends partly on the weather forecast and what the weather is like, how much snow is predicted to falls, and what the temperatures for the next few days look like. Stay Dry Roofing knows snow and winter roof care and we can help you with roof snow removal tips that work and roof care services that take care of all the hard stuff for you.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Snow Removal
We have seen homeowners try with the best of interests to deal with snow and ice accumulation on their own but many times it does not work out too well. It is always best to trust the experts with your roofing needs, but if you want to do what you can to take care of your roofing system this winter, here are a few “do’s and don’ts” of roof snow removal you need to know:
- Do remove the snow either by shovel or by rake, whichever is easiest and safest for you, so that you reduce the chance of ice dams forming.
- Don’t use salt products on your roof because it can damage your roof materials and damage your yard and driveway, and anything located below on the ground.
- Don’t use heat cables as we have found them to be fairly expensive and not all that effective once the snow has accumulated past 6 inches deep.
- Do remember to reduce ice dams, snow should not accumulate past 6 inches and to reduce the chance of roof collapse, snow should not accumulate past 12 inches.
- Do be careful to avoid any overhead power lines, cables, tree limbs or anything else hanging over your property when you are raking your roof.
- Do make sure you clear the overhangs and eves and all areas of the roof to ensure snow and ice loads do not grow too heavy.
- Don’t try to remove the snow yourself if you are unsure as it is best to call in the experts to handle heavy snow and ice removal safely and effectively.
- Don’t use a shovel with a metal edge or shovel your entire roof more than a handful of times each winter, as it can gouge and damage roofing materials.
- Don’t leave any snow pathways on your roof—caused by walking back and forth through the snow as this can lead to uneven weight distribution.
- Do be very wary of any roof snow removal companies whose rates are surprisingly low as they are usually doing a half-assed job and it will show.
- Do realize that the best snow and ice dam removal teams will be thorough, communicative, and honest with you about the cost of services and what you need.
Contact Us Today
To learn more about roof snow removal tips that work and to find the best roofing contractors in the area to work with this winter, give us a call here at Stay Dry Roofing. Our team of experienced roof care experts are ready to help you get through this winter without incident and if something should arise, we will be there to help you through it every step of the way. Call now for a consultation appointment and no obligation estimate!