Maintain Your Pipes and Your Business

I Need To Remove The Snow From My Roof—And How Can This Be Done?

by Sheila Vasquez

Although it's not a common problem, extreme quantities of snow can cause a roof to collapse. This is most common when large amounts of snow fall all at one time, as in the case of some very strong winter storms. Large amounts of snow (particularly wet snow) can be very heavy. This puts a lot of pressure on the rooftops supporting that snow. Flat roofs are more vulnerable to collapse than steep roofs. Homes with termite damage or other structural problems may be especially vulnerable. Homeowners should be concerned if their home begins to show the following signs of imminent danger:

  • Bowing or cracking of the beams in the attic
  • Popping or groaning noises coming from the attic
  • Windows and doors that once opened and closed easily no longer do so

If you've noticed any of these signs, it's time to remove the snow from your roof. Snow removal can be done by homeowners or by roofing experts, depending on the situation.

How to Remove the Snow Yourself

Snow rakes are available at hardware stores and home improvement centers. The safest way to use a snow rake is to stand on the ground beneath the roof and slowly drag the rake over the roof. If you can't access the snow from the ground, don't attempt to stand on the roof or on tall structures near your roof.

Before you begin to rake your roof, make sure that all family members and pets are safely away from the house, so they won't be covered by falling snow. As you stand on the ground beneath the roof, slowly raking off the snow, move from one side of the house to the other, avoiding piling the snow in any one particular place. This makes gaining access to the sides of your house easier. Try not to pile any snow around the entrances to your house.

If You Can't Remove the Snow Safely

If your roof is too high to reach from the ground, or if there are large portions of your roof that you can't get with the snow rake for any reason, contact a roofing company in your area. Many roofing companies offer snow removal services in the winter months. Roofing companies will have special materials and tools that allow them to safely remove the snow from your roof without real danger of falling. This is a job best left for the experts.