Safely clearing snow off your roof is important for preventing excessive weight and ice dams. One square-foot of snow that is 1-inch deep weighs around a pound. If a roof has over 12 inches of snow on it, it can easily amount to thousands of pounds of weight on your roof. One cubic foot of ice weighs almost 60 pounds, meaning a large ice dam could weigh over a thousand pounds. If the ice breaks off it can cause serious damage to whatever is below.
When Should You Clear Snow off Your Roof?
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to remove every 6 inches of accumulation if the forecast calls for an extended period of below freezing temperatures. However, if the snow is very wet, it may be best to remove smaller accumulations. Preventing snow from piling up on your roof will make it harder for ice dams to form with subsequent accumulations.
With mountain roofs, which are typically steeper pitched, a snow rake is the best tool for clearing snow off your roof. Roof rakes have limitations. It’s difficult to rake much higher than the overhangs on lower levels and roof valleys may prevent access. In addition, roof rakes are not the best tool for wet, heavy, or hardened snow.
If you decide to use a roof rake, choose a model with small rollers or bumpers on the bottom of the blade (or, alternatively a plastic rake) so it doesn’t scrape the surface of your roof. Always check the area first to ensure it is clear of power lines and focus on removing the snow from overhangs, which are more prone to ice damage.
We strongly advise NOT using a shovel on your roof. A snow covered roof is simply not a place you want to be climbing with a shovel. If you need help with roof snow removal, call The Roofing Company, we can help safely clear your roof.