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How to Remove Snow from Your Roof (5 Possible Ways)

snow on the roof and windows

snow on the roof and windows

If you live in the northern part of the United States, you are no stranger to heavy snowfall. This snowfall can build up on your roof and cars, causing damage or hazardous conditions. If you have this problem and want to know how to remove the snow from your roof, keep reading. We will provide you with several methods to eliminate the snow to help you protect your property and home.

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How Do I Remove Snow From My Roof?

1. Shovel

Unfortunately, there will be times when the only way to remove snow from your roof is with a shovel. We recommend a light plastic shovel that’s easy to maneuver as you will likely be stretching from a ladder. Always wear the proper safety equipment when climbing onto a roof in the winter, there are few things more dangerous, and your safety is paramount. We only recommend shoveling flat roofs that are relatively low to the ground.

man removing snow on the roof using shovel
Image Credit: Pixabay

Related Read: 17 Different Types of Shovels & Their Uses (with Pictures)


2. Snow Rake

The snow rake is the preferred method for removing snow from your roof. It is a special device with a special design to effortlessly and grab and pull snow. The snow rake looks very similar to a squeegee, and it operates in almost the same way. It usually has several extension poles that allow you to reach 15 feet or more over your head to grab snow, making It extremely effective, even for multi-story homes. The downside to using a snow rake is that you pull the snow down onto your head, so you need a good head covering and boots.

using Avalanche! Traditional Snow Roof Rake


3. Roof Melt

Roof Melt is a brand name of calcium chloride tablets that have a special design that allows you to throw the tablets onto your roof to melt the snow as you do with ordinary ice melts for your sidewalk or driveway. There are also other brands available you can use. These tablets won’t harm your shingles, and they can be quite effective at removing hard-to-reach snow, especially on buildings with steep peaks. The downside to Roof Melt is that using it on flat roofs can allow water to puddle and refreeze.


4. Thick String

If your roof has a central peak or only slants on one side, fastening a thick string to the highest point and allowing it to hang down to the ground before a snowstorm can be a great way to remove snow as it accumulates. Once the snow begins, you can go out every hour or so and remove the string back and forth across the roof, knocking off the accumulating snow. This trick can be quite effective, and you don’t get as much snow on your head as you do with the snow rake. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the type of roof that will allow you to use this method.


5. Call a Professional

If you are nervous, inexperienced, or don’t have the proper tools or protective equipment, the smartest way to remove snow from your roof is to call a professional. Professionals are insured, know what they’re doing, and have tools that most of us didn’t know we needed. They can often remove the snow from the roof before we even get our ladder out, making them well worth the money.

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What Are The Risks Of Allowing Snow To Build Up On My Roof?

Snow can be surprisingly heavy, and ice is even worse. Thick snow and ice can put a significant strain on the structure below it. While you were home may not struggle, your garage, shed, and any overhang areas may not have the support beams required to hold up the extreme weight. In extreme cases, these structures can collapse, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Another problem with allowing snow to sit on your roof is that it can melt in the warm sun, forming icicles and icy patches on the ground below when the temperature gets cold again. Slippery surfaces can cause people to get hurt, and icicles can break off and injure people or property below. Ice and icicles can also damage rain gutters and roof shingles.

snow on the roof
Image Credit: Pixabay

When Should I Remove Snow From My Roof?

If you have a home with sharp peaks on your roof, there’s likely little need to worry about snow. However, if you have a flat roof or peaks with little inclination, you may find that quite a bit of snow can build up. Most structures are stable enough to support a lot of weight. However, if you see more than a foot of snow, then it’s time to start considering pulling some down. While the weight of snow can vary significantly, 6 inches of snow buildup can be equal to the weight of an automobile.

You should also start removing snow if you see warping or bending in the structure. Many homes and other structures will also start creaking and making strange noises when the weight becomes too significant.

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Summary

If you frequently suffer from too much snow on your roof, we recommend talking with a professional about a permanent fix. The cost of a steeper peak may be worth it when you consider the hours and money saved over years of climbing on the roof. If remodeling is an option, the snow rake is likely going to be your best friend. This simple tool is lightweight, easy to use, extends 15 feet or more, and effectively pulls down the snow without damaging your roof.

You might also be interested in: 8 Best Roof Rakes For Snow Removal – Reviews & Top Picks


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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