A blizzard dumped nearly three feet of snow on several east-coast states during the second week in February. It often takes several days to recover from this kind of storm. Usually the top items on the list of priorities following a heavy snow storm are digging out automobiles and clearing driveways to resume the daily commute. Unfortunately, people overlook the potential damage heavy snow can do to their homes and businesses. Along with digging out your car and clearing your walks, you need to remove the snow that has settled on your roof. Snow is heavy. It can shorten the life of your roofs, create leaks and even cause structural damage.
Our first piece of advice is to call a professional. There are many risks involved with clearing off the snow from a roof. If you choose to do it yourself, please be careful.
After a heavy snowfall it is imperative to clear the snow and ice dams that build up on your rooftop.
Most people will try to climb on the roof and use a snow shovel to push the snow off. This can be dangerous because the snow makes your roof slippery, especially if your roof is pitched. If you are stepping on the snow as you shovel, this will cause the snow to pack into a thinner layer, making it much more slippery and increasing your chance of falling.
If you have a flat roof, it’s probably safe to climb up and push the snow off with a snow shovel. Refrain from jabbing or applying excess pressure on any area of your roof. This can puncture holes in your roof. If you have shingles, remember to shovel WITH the grain. This will prevent you from accidently pulling up or completely chipping off your shingle pieces. If you are going to shovel your flat roof, make sure to mark off the area below that you dropping the snow so you don’t hurt anyone on the ground.
If the pitch of your roof is too steep to stand on, it’s best to use a snow rake (available at most hardware stores) to clear your roof. Try to avoid using a ladder to gain access to your roof. The rungs as well as the soles of your shoes can become icy. The snow rakes are usually long enough that you can stand on the ground to use them. Finally, an important safety concern with snow rakes is they are a good conductor of electricity. Be sure to keep your snow rake clear of all power lines. Taking these precautions will keep both your roof and you safe after a heavy snow fall.