How to Safely Remove Snow From Your Roof

Winter is nearly upon us, and for communities in our Delaware, South Jersey, and Pennsylvania service area, this means there’s a good chance there will be plenty of snow along with it. You may be tempted to leave snow on your roof, as it doesn’t seem to present an immediate risk to you or your family. However, this oversight can lead to several complications.

If left untouched, mass amounts of snow on a roof can cause ice dams that can punch holes in your sheathing and put stress on your structural framing. This stress can cause your framing to warp and may lead to future issues.

It’s important to monitor the amount of snow on your roof and maintain a clean surface, but removing snow from your roof also presents several unique challenges. Here are a few tips for how to safely remove snow from your roof this winter:

Invest in a Snow Rake

There’s an old saying: “work smarter, not harder.” This saying can easily be applied to roof snow removal. Instead of climbing up on top of your house to push heavy, wet snow off your roof, consider purchasing a snow rake that will allow you to perform the task from the safety of the ground if the height of your house permits it.

Snow rakes use telescoping rods attached to large scooping implements that you can use to slowly clear snow off your roof in a safe and easy manner.

Try Making Socks

For the do-it-yourselfers out there, there’s the option of making a “roof sock” to help melt snow and ice on your roof during harsh winters. This quick, easy solution involves pouring rock salt into cut-open stockings, tying off the filled stockings, and placing the stockings a few feet apart on your roof to create passageways through which melted snow and ice can flow off your roof.

Call in the Pros

If the DIY methods aren’t effective or if you aren’t able to access your roof, it may be time to hire a professional to clear snow off your roof safely. Though this may come at a higher cost than roof socks or snow rakes, there are several options that will help you prevent snow buildup on your roof — which may end up saving you money long-term.

First, consider having a professional install heating cables. These coils attach to your roof and can help melt snow and ice, and may even help prevent them from building up in the first place. Though it may be tempting to put them up yourself, improper installation can cause ineffective snow removal and prevention.

Alternatively, you can install proper ventilation equipment, insulating materials, or reinforce existing insulation to help prevent snow and ice buildup. These methods offer an additional benefit — they can help make your home more energy-efficient and keep your bills to a minimum even in the summertime. There are a few types of insulation to consider with this method:

  • Blow-in
  • Roof Vents
  • Traditional fiberglass insulation batts

As far as ventilation is concerned, a new ridge vent, shingle system or soffit vents can help improve airflow throughout your attic and ensure heat flow is constant throughout. Talk to your roofer about which materials and price point would work best for your home.

You may be looking to simply remove snow and ice from your roof and don’t have the time or money to invest in preventive measures. There are many roofing professionals who are happy to take on the job and will use a variety of methods to make sure your roof is clear of ice and snow. Save yourself the hassle and danger of climbing on your roof, and leave it to a team of trained experts who will ensure your home is safe from winter weather damage.

The Professionals at HomeStar

If you’re interested in learning more about how to prevent ice and snow buildup on your roof this winter, or you’re interested in learning more about our roofing services, contact HomeStar Remodeling today. As experts with years of experience in roofing and exterior remodeling, we’ll be happy to discuss what you can do to protect your home against ice and snow damage.