In winter, snow falling on our rooftops can be very pretty. However, as snow accumulates over the winter months, the weight of the snow also increases. If enough snow piles up on a roof, it can cause the roof to buckle or even collapse under the weight. It’s therefore important to keep your roof clear of snow, but it’s even more important to remove snow from your roof correctly. Clearing snow from your roof the wrong way can end up damaging your roof even more than the weight of the snow could.

Step 1

Decide Whether You Need to Remove the Snow

Most roofs are actually designed to withstand up to a certain amount of snow. This means that during a normal winter, most homeowners may not need to manually clear snow from their roofs. However, some roofs will need to be cleared because their pitch makes collapse under snow more likely. If there’s more snow than usual, you may need to make an early decision because it’s not a good idea to let snow build up.

Step 2

Don’t Wait Until a Lot of Snow Has Built-Up

If you are going to clear snow off of your roof, don’t wait. The more snow builds up, the more effort it will take you to remove it from the roof. Plus, there’s also a greater risk of damage to the roof the more snow accumulates.

Step 3

Choose the Best Time

It’s not safe for you to be outdoors clearing snow off your roof in bad weather. Therefore, you should make sure to wait until the weather is clear to go out and clear snow from your roof.

Step 4

Use the Right Equipment

Man removing snow from roof

Your normal snow shovel shouldn’t be used on your roof because it can cause a lot of damage. Instead, make sure you have special snow-removal tools that are designed for use on roofs. A plastic snow rake is typically safe to use on a roof, but you should check to make sure that your particular snow rake is safe first. Do not use metal tools to scrape off snow or flames to melt the snow. Both of these can damage your home.

Step 5

Use the Buddy System

It’s not a good idea to remove snow from your roof alone. Having someone with you can help to make the whole process safer. That way, there’s someone to hold a ladder or to run for help if it should become necessary.

Step 6

Clear the Edges First

Clear what you can from the edges of the roof first. Start with what you can reach from the ground and then proceed to clear what you can reach from the ladder. Leave the snow that requires you to set foot on your roof for last. You also shouldn’t remove all of the snow. Clear most of the snow off the roof, but leave a few inches so that you can be sure you didn’t scrape the roof with the snow rake.

Step 7

Hire Professional Help

If during any part of the snow removal process you don’t feel safe or comfortable removing the snow from the roof yourself, call a professional. A professional will be much more experienced at moving around on a roof than a homeowner is. You should, however, make sure that anyone you hire to clear snow off of your roof is using a roof-safe plastic snow rake to do the job instead of metal tools.

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