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Should I Clean the Snow Off My Roof This Year?

With winter upon us, people in snowy parts of the country are getting ready to deal with the presence of snow and ice. This involves a lot of different measures. You might have to put snow chains in your vehicle’s tires, tune up your snow blower, but new equipment for shoveling, and update your winter wardrobe. There is no shortage of things to do when the snow is about to fly.

When winter has been underway for a while, you’ll probably have an increasing amount of snowfall settled into your roof. Unlike sidewalks and driveways, this is one area where regular snow removal is quite a bit more complicated. Of course, there are brooms with long extensions that can be used for sweeping snow off the roof, but this only works to a certain extent. If you really want to clear the roof, you have to get up there with a shovel — or hire a professional to come and do the work for you.

But before you make that decision, you’ll probably ask yourself — do I really need to remove the snow from my roof? Isn’t it possible to just leave it there until it starts to melt?

In some cases, yes — but the answer to this question will really depend on a number of factors.

1. How much snow is on the roof

Obviously, when precipitation totals are high during the winter, the issue of snow on the roof becomes more important. We’ve all seen homes with three or four feet of snow sitting on top of the roof and wondered — is that safe? Snow seems very light and harmless, but it really does add up, and can cause structural problems for roofs if not handled and removed properly.

2. What’s the weather forecast?

If the temperature is set to be well above freezing in the coming days (also known as a ‘warm spell’), you might consider waiting to see what kind of effect the warm weather has on the quantity of snow on your rooftop. Obviously some snow is going to melt — but a warmer air temperature does not always mean the snow will melt quickly, especially if there is a lot of it. That’s why the biggest piles of snow are always the last to melt during the spring thaw.

3. Is your roof structurally sound, or weak and in need of repair?

This is an important determining factor in whether your roof can handle the pressure and weight of snow, week after week and month after month. A roof that’s already weak and in need of repair (maybe it was never built properly in the first place) can present a very tricky situation when large quantities of snow are involved. You may begin to see small cracks or fissures on the inside of the roof, which is a definite sign that you need to call a roofing professional for an assessment.

Stopping little problems before they become big ones

Contacting a roofing contractor to have a look at your situation should be a relatively easy task with no obligation to sign any contract. The most reputable professionals are always happy to take a few minutes and discuss your situation, concerns, and possible solutions. Many roofers will even visit your home and inspect your roof free of charge. In any case, it never hurts to ask! Dealing with roofing problems, including the challenge of snow, is a great way to protect your property and avoid unnecessary repairs down the road.