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How to Safely Remove Snow from your Roof

What is so important about removing snow from the roof?

The main reason one should remove snow from their roof is that it is crucial in preventing ice dams from forming on one’s roof. An ice dam cannot form without snow. If one is successful in the prevention of ice dams, they are far more likely to prevent their roof from leaking and damaging the inside of their home.

roof ice dam victoriaAnother reason roof snow removal is so important is that it is a good idea to keep all that excess weight off their roof.  As a rule of thumb, one-square-foot of snow that’s one-inch in-depth weighs about a pound. If one’s roof has 12 inches of snow on it, that could easily amount to thousands of pounds of stress on a roof. That is not even counting the weight of any ice dams that may form as a result of leaving the snow on one’s roof; just one cubic foot of ice weighs 57 pounds, and a typical ice dam can weigh thousands of pounds. One should minimize the stress placed on their roof as a way to minimize the risk of leaking and cave-ins (the latter of which occur more frequently than one might think).

The best rule of them is to one’s roof checked after every 6-8 inches of snowfall. If the amount of snowfall is greater than 6-8 inches, it becomes immensely harder to prevent ice dams and remove the snow.

Snow can be removed by shoveling, and in other times by roof-raking. It depends largely on how big one’s roof is and how tall one’s house is,  how much snow one’s roof received, and whether the snow itself is powdery and light versus wet and heavy. Roof-raking is best as an ongoing, winter-long task that one, the property owner, can perform as a way of keeping the snow off a roof.

As a snow-removal technique, shoveling picks up where roof-raking leaves off.  A homeowner’s roof probably needs to be shoveled after a storm drops too much snow for one to remove with a rake. If the snow is too heavy or hardened for one’s roof rake, or if one’s roof is too large or tall for one to be able to rake it.

The first thing to know about roof-raking is it is simply one tool in one’s wintertime home-protection toolbox.  That is, it is an excellent habit to be in, but even if one’s rake your roof religiously, there may still be occasions when one will need to hire a roof snow removal service with shovels or an ice dam removal service with steamers.

A good roof-raking regimen can minimize the occasions when one need these services, but it probably won’t eliminate them.The first part of effective roof-raking has the right roof rake.  Most importantly, one’s roof rake should have small rollers or bumpers on the bottom of the blade, so that it does not come into direct contact with the surface of your roof (i.e., the shingles) and unnecessarily scrape them.

The scraping of shingles from a roof rake could scratch off some of the precious granules that help the roof to do three things: protect the asphalt coating from UV rays, to add aesthetic beauty (colors) and to provide fire resistance. If you are unable to find a roof rake with rollers or bumpers, then try to get one with a plastic blade (rather than a metal one).

Stay ahead of the elements this winter and be prepared; know ow to protect your home against the accumulating snow.


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