During the winter time, complaints about the nuisance of snow is usually followed up by a comment noting how pretty the snow is. Certainly, a snow-covered roof provides a picturesque scene for all to enjoy. However, the combination of newly fallen snow and the ongoing process of melting and refreezing can place tremendous stress on a roof.
No more than a foot of snow and ice should be allowed to accumulate on a roof, whether commercial or residential; more than this will run the risk of structural damage. Different roofs can support different amounts of snow depending on several factors, including what type of roof it is, how old it is and how solid is the structure. However, clearing off your roof when snow reaches one foot of accumulation is a good guideline. Anytime it snows, it is wise to clear the snow off your roof from the edge (the gutters or eaves) to about three feet up the roof. Doing this after each storm can help to prevent ice dams from forming and causing leaking problems. Be very careful when doing this. Do not use a ladder in snowy and icy conditions, which can be very dangerous. If possible, it is best to get professional help.
Flat Roof Snow Removal
If a roof is flat and accessible from an interior, it is usually fine to shovel off the roof yourself. Because of the flat roof, there is not too much risk of falling as long as you use extra precaution around the edge. However, be careful not to damage the shingles or other roof covering. If you are too rough or careless, you can easily damage and break the roofing material, which could cause other problems such as leaking, and will need to be replaced.
Sloped Roof Snow Removal
If you have a sloped roof, the best way is to remove the snow by using a roof rake, a long-handled tool designed to catch snow and pull it off the roof. This is a safe way to stay on the ground and still pull the snow away from your eaves and depending on your house, the majority of your roof. In some cases, you may not be able to reach your roof from the ground. In this situation, it is wise to contact a roofing contractor or landscaper who will help you remove the snow and ice. Always be sure anyone you hire is a qualified and insured contractor.
Don’t ignore the snow on your roof! It is alarming how many people do not take this threat seriously, only to have serious damage done to their roofs, and roof collapses in some situations. If you are concerned about the safety of your roof, are looking to add value to your home, or are looking for professionals to perform maintenance on your roof – including snow and ice dam removal – contact the experts at All Weather Tite in Marlborough, MA.