How Can You Safely Remove Ice or Snow from Your Roof?

The dreaded winter months wreak havoc on a number of roofs across America. Planning wisely and properly fighting against snow and ice accumulation are musts for homeowners. 

 The structure of a roof varies from house to house. Knowing the weight that your particular roof can bear may be helpful. Nevertheless, too much snow or ice on your roof can cause damage or even a collapse in your roof. 

 It is not good to tamper with snow and ice on your rooftop on your own unless necessary. A good option is to call a professional for what could be a dangerous job. The following are a number of indicators that it may be time to remove snow and ice buildup from your roof: 

 1. You notice that snow accumulation is rising above three feet. 

 2. If you have a shallow pitch or flat roof, this will put you at a higher risk. 

 3. If heavy snowfall is the norm in your area, it would be good to remove the snow and ice prior to another storm approaching. 

 4. If snow drifts are occurring, the weight will shift to certain portions of your home, and this can lead to an excessive amount of weight in a certain spot. 

 5. In the event that strain is being placed on the structure of your home, your windows may be harder to open than normal – a sign that the snow/ice must be dealt with.

 6. If powdery snow is all that has been falling on your home, you are less likely to need to remove it. However, if this snow has been melting, turning into ice, and then has been receiving greater amounts of snow accumulation on top, it may be a good time to remove the buildup. 

 While there is still more to consider, hopefully, this list will aid you in making a decision. It is important to remember that you should not attempt to remove the buildup on your own unless you deem it necessary. 

 How to remove snow and ice from your rooftop

 This leads us to the all-important “how-to” section of our article. The following are some helpful tips on how to remove snow and ice from your rooftop.

 • Snow removal

 1. At the outset, it is important to know that you can hire someone for the job. It can be very dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. The best option may be to hire a professional.

 2. If you decide to remove snow buildup yourself, make sure you do not get on your roof to do so. 

 3. Invest in an extendable plastic snow rake (do not use metal tools on your roof). This can be found at a number of hardware stores or online. 

 4. With your feet firmly positioned on the ground (not your roof), you can extend the rake to reach the roof of your home. 

 5. Begin to rake the snow down starting from the eaves. Rake the snow down gradually, working from the bottom to the top. 

 6. Do not allow excessive amounts of snow to collect on portions of your roof as you are raking.

 7. If anyone is inside, notify them to stay away from the exits of your home, as large amounts of snow may fall toward the doorways. 

 • Ice removal

 1. If ice dams are forming on your roof, you could hire a professional to steam your roof and remove the accumulation. 

 2. If you want to do it yourself, locate a large sock. 

 3. Fill the sock with calcium chloride.

 4. Lay the sock along the base of your roof where the ice has been accumulating, with about half of the sock on your roof and the other half draped off the edge. This will melt the snow and allow the water to run off your roof rather than turn into ice.