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Roof Snow Removal: What You Need to Know

There are many places around the world where removing snow is simply not an issue — but for the rest of us, snow is a fact of life for a good portion of the year. There’s the question of shoveling and plowing the driveway and walkways, driving safely in the snow, and preventing water from entering through the foundation of the home when the snow melts. These are just some of the things we have to consider when the snow flies.

There’s another aspect of snow management that often slips the minds of homeowners: Roof snow removal. Granted, this isn’t as pressing as getting the snow off the driveway and walkways so you can enter and exit your home after a substantial snowfall. But as the snow piles up on the roof, it gets surprisingly heavy and puts constant pressure on the structure of your home. If the problem is neglected for too long, year after year, the problems can multiply and you can find yourself in a situation where costly repairs are necessary to restore full function of your roof.

1. The weight of the snow matters more than the quantity

As we all know, snow can be heavy or light. In colder temperatures, snow is powdery and weighs a lot less. As things warm up, the snow is heavier and can be much more problematic. In order to determine whether the snow on your roof is heavy or light, simply shovel some snow in your driveway and test the weight for yourself. If there’s a good amount of heavy snow on your roof, it’s time to think about clearing it away.

2. Sticky doors can indicate a problem

It might seem implausible, but the weight of too much snow on your roof can cause your door frames to compress, leading to doors that stick. In some cases, you’ll also notice cracks or gaps in the walls or frames around the door. Normally, these problems occur on the upper floors of the home, closer to the roof. Of course, if you live in a one story home, any door could exhibit these signs. If there’s a lot of snow on your roof and you notice doors beginning to stick, it’s a good indication that you need to get that snow off the roof and address any necessary repair issues.

3. Removing snow from the roof can be dangerous

Safety is the most important thing for any home maintenance task, and removing snow from the roof presents particular safety risks that have to be taken seriously. The risk of losing your balance or slipping — and sustaining a fall — is real. Extension rakes are a great way to reduce the amount of snow on your roof without having to climb it, and it’s true that removing all snow from the roof isn’t necessary. Reducing the weight is enough, in most cases.

How do professionals remove snow from your roof?

It’s important to keep in mind that snow removal professionals use special safety equipment, including safety harnesses, to climb your roof and remove the snow safely. Finding a reputable contractor in your area who can do this job properly is an important step.