Snow and ice can cause significant issues during the winter. Of course, it makes navigating your driveway and sidewalks difficult, but it can also put a ton of added weight and pressure on your roof. In states where heavy snowfall is expected, you can mostly rely on it melting off, so it’s never on your roof for too long.
However, if your roof is poorly insulated or ventilated, snow and ice can build up layer after layer and never melt off—causing leaks, shingle damage, or even roof collapse.
Issues caused by consistent snow sitting on your roof include:
- Ice dams
- Collapsing or sagging
- Damage to roof shingles or tiles
- Mold and mildew growth in attic spaces
- Water damage to ceilings, walls, insulation, and other building materials
When Should You Remove Snow From Your Roof?
You don’t have to let snow sit up on your roof if it’s causing issues—professional snow removal is an option. But it’s important to know when you might need to remove snow and also tell-tale signs of damage from leaks caused by snow or ice.
Signs it might be time for ice or snow removal include:
- Ice dams are forming. Ice dams are caused by snow melting near the top of your roof, then flowing down and refreezing at the bottom. Ice dams are most often caused by poor insulation or ventilation in your roof and require a more extensive inspection. However, heavy snowfall that melts can make things far worse and cause ice dams to grow.
- You notice water spots on the ceiling inside your home. When large amounts of snow or ice melt on your roof, it can leak inside the attic if it has nowhere to go. Water spots are the first sign of leaks in the roof.
- If you hear cracks or pops coming from the roof and attic. These weird sounds can be caused by temperature changes and the immense weight caused by heavy snow sitting on your poor roof.
- The snow is very deep on your roof. Our roofs can handle a bit of snow, as it will often melt a little and slough off thanks to our warm home or the sun. However, if you see the snow building up and up without any change, it might be time to remove it.
- You had a considerable snowfall. Sometimes massive amounts of snow can get dumped on your home all at once. If this is the case, and your home is not built to hold so much, go ahead and schedule roof snow removal just to be safe.
- You have a low-pitch roof. Low-pitch or flat roofs have a much harder time with snowmelt. Snow can easily fall off or melt off a steeper roof, but low pitches can lead to standing water if large amounts of snow melt at once.
It’s important to note that you do not have to worry about roof snow removal in general. Our homes and roofs should be built to withstand regular snowfall, even during heavy years. But if your roof is old or you notice any of those listed signs of leaks or damage, it’s vital to get the snow and ice removed from your roof. Then, you can focus on getting an inspection followed up by critical roof repairs or replacement.
How to Safely Remove Snow From Your Roof
Snow removal can be hazardous, especially if there is a lot of snow or ice dams. We highly recommend hiring a professional for your roof snow removal. However, a few tools and techniques can ensure you safely remove snow from your roof.
Tools used roof snow removal:
- Roof rake (with handle extensions)
- Steamer (professional recommendation)
Check out the video below for some DIY roof removal tips.
Trust the Experts With Your Roof Care
To ensure your snow is removed safely and effectively, we highly recommend hiring a professional roofer to do it for you. Most professionals will utilize a combination of roof rakes or steam for safe removal. Steam gently assists the snow in melting and thus is the most effective and cleanest way to remove any snow or ice dams from your roof.
To mitigate the risk of heavy snow on your roof, you should ensure your roof is well-ventilated and insulated. Your roof should be able to insulate your attic well enough to where it can adequately melt snow but also keep your home warm and toasty all winter long.
If you notice the snow melts off your roof right away, that can actually be a sign that too much heat is escaping through your roof shingles. In that case, you might need a new roof or to re-insulate it. And if that’s the case, you should contact Durashield Contracting. We can assess your roof for any damage and help you get back in shape with a new or restored roof.