A roof full of snow is a common occurrence in wintry climates, and we often leave them be. After all, most roofs come from quality materials and should hold up well against large amounts of snow. That said, it’s a good idea to occasionally clear the snow from your roof so more significant problems don’t arise.
Knowing when to remove snow from your roof is essential to your home’s upkeep, so let’s go over a few ways to clear your roof and when it should get done.
How Snow Can Affect Your Roof
We should note that a bit of snow by itself is not a bad thing. Snow only causes problems when it gathers on your roof and is not insulated correctly. For example, several inches of snow can weigh on your roof and cause it to cave in slightly. If you have gaps in your attic or roof, snow can melt into your home and cause water damage.
Now, you might not need to worry too much about large amounts of snow if your roof is newer, but an older roof might not be able to take much more weight. Either way, seeing when to remove snow from your roof is vital to maintaining your roof’s longevity.
How Much Snow Can a Roof Hold?
The average roof can hold about 20 pounds of snow, but remember that wet snow is heavier than dry snow since it contains more water. Most roofs can hold between 40 to 45 inches of snow, but since packed snow is much heavier, a roof can only hold about 20 inches.
When Should You Remove Snow From Your Roof?
While you can remove snow from your roof after the smallest snowfall, it’s best to remove snow after a six-inch snowfall. Make sure the snow is fresh before removing it since packed snow will be more difficult and dangerous to remove. Several people get hurt or even die each year removing snow from their roofs, so make sure you clear snow when it’s still fresh and when there are fewer than six inches.
If your roof is in good shape, you can let up to six inches accumulate since it might help to insulate your home slightly, but it is better to be cautious and remove the snow when it gets close to six inches.
You should also take your roofing material into account when you determine your snow removal schedule. For instance, a metal roof lets snow slide off more easily, while a shingled roof has pockets where snow may catch and melt. If you have a flat roof, you should take special care to remove heavy snow accumulations.
How Can You Remove Snow From Your Roof?
We want to preface this section with a heavy word of caution. Removing snow from your roof yourself can cause further damage to your roof and yourself, so make sure you use the right tools and do not go on your roof without taking proper safety measures.
A snow rake is the best tool for removing snow from your roof. It consists of a long, strong pole with a flat aluminum piece at the end. It might only stretch some of the way up each roof, but it can remove enough snow from your roof to reduce potential damage. Plus, the aluminum end is strong enough to knock down ice dams or icicles.
Remember to stand away from your roof while using your snow rake since you don’t want to risk any snow or icicles falling on top of you. Stay light on your feet if any snow shifts, and you need to avoid it. To help protect yourself, clear a path around your house. Make sure there is nothing to slip or trip on and the snow is packed and free of ice.
It is also not necessary to scrape every bit of snow off your roof. Especially if your snow rake has a metal or aluminum tip, you want to avoid scraping your roof too hard and risk causing damage, so only remove what you can.
You could also install a heating cable on your roof before it snows. All you need is an external outlet and a few helpers to install your heating cable across your roof. Then, turn on the cable with a switch after it snows, and some gentle heat will melt the snow away. Finally, ensure that no one is in the way of falling snow.
If you’re unsure about removing snow from your roof by yourself, you can also call a professional roofing company.
How Do You Know When to Remove Snow From Your Roof?
Depending on the time of year, a little snow on your rooftop can look festive and inviting. However, you can take measures to ensure your roof doesn’t accumulate too much snow, whether through a snow rake or a heating cable. Knowing when to remove snow from your roof can save you lots of time and money this winter.
We always recommend having a snow removed professional look at your roof, so contact Perfect Exteriors today for your snow removal needs!