When you live in Edmonton, you are no stranger to shoveling snow from your driveway and walkway - even in the spring!
But you probably don’t think about removing snow from your roof, do you?
Even though your roof is likely designed to withstand the northern climate, it’s important that you routinely remove snow from your roof to prevent all kinds of damage.
How Can Snow Damage My Roof?
Many signs of roof damage due to snow are obvious and can be spotted immediately. However, there are some damages that cannot be seen unless you conduct a thorough inspection.
If ever you feel your home should be looked at for damages caused by snow on your roof, don’t hesitate to call in a professional to take a look for you.
Otherwise, here are some ways in which snow can damage your roof and your home:
When you let snow build up on your roof, it can cause condensation to form on your attic ceiling. This build-up of moisture can lead to rot and mold.
Good attic ventilation is key to avoiding this kind of damage, so make sure your attic is properly ventilated.
Worsening Existing Problems
Roofs endure a lot of wear and tear throughout the year, but the presence of snow can further damage existing issues such as loosening unsecured roof flashing, dislodging loose shingles, and even prying open gutter seams where caulk has broken.
While you should always have your roof inspected and repaired before winter hits, keeping the snow off will prevent many problems from getting worse.
Though it may not be common, it’s always possible for heavy snow to cause your roof to collapse.
Rainwater and melting snow will naturally pool at the lowest point of your roof and, once the temperatures drop, large ice blocks can form.
When these ice blocks increase in weight, the stress can cause your roof to collapse.
When Should I Remove Snow From My Roof?
While you don’t have to take a shovel to your roof every time it snows, there are certain conditions that will indicate it’s time to get the snow off:
1. There Is More Than 6 Inches of Snow on Your Roof
Sometimes a massive snowstorm will dump a significant amount of snow on your roof - but sometimes that snow can accumulate over time as well.
If there are at least 6 inches of snow on your roof, it’s time to get it cleared off.
And right after a snowstorm is the best time - fresh snow is lighter and can be more easily removed from your roof.
Just remember that not all snow is created equally. Six inches of wet snow can weigh significantly more than 15 inches of lighter snow - and ice needs to be taken into consideration as well.
Overall, most roofs can withstand 20 pounds per square foot of snow, so it’s important to keep it off your roof.
2. Your Home Makes Weird Noises
If you notice your homemaking cracking, creaking, popping, or other unusual noises, it could be that the weight of the snow on your roof is causing stress on your home’s structure.
These sounds should not be taken lightly! They could be an indication that your home’s structure is compromised, which can lead to the entire house collapsing.
That may be extreme in many cases, but it’s definitely not worth the risk. If your home is making weird sounds with snow on the roof, get it cleared as soon as possible.
3. Ice Dams Begin to Form
Ice dams occur when snow and ice melt and then refreeze around the edge of your roof. These blockages can cause water to back up into your shingles, which can lead to roof leaks.
These roof leaks can then damage your ceiling, walls, and insulation.
If you notice ice dams forming, it’s time to remove the snow from your roof - and save you in costly repairs in the future.
4. There is Interior Damage to Your Home
Leaving heavy snow on your roof can eventually lead to damage inside your home such as warped ceilings, drywall cracks and even shifting of your door frames.
If you notice any of these signs of damage in your home, it’s also a sign that the snow needs to be cleared from your roof.
What Are the Safest Ways to Remove Snow From My Roof?
Let’s be clear in saying that under no circumstances should you simply grab a shovel and hop up onto your roof to clear the snow!
While that may be a daredevil’s dream, you want to make sure you remove the snow from your roof safely and without injury.
Here are some tips for safely removing snow from your roof:
- Don’t wait for the snow to build up. The less snow you have to clear, the easier it will be.
- Avoid windy or messy weather. Try to clear off your roof during a warm or mild day.
- Have someone hold the ladder. Roof snow removal must be done from a ladder and you should definitely have someone spotting you from the ground.
- Use tools designed for clearing roofs. Metal shovels and scrapers can cause damage to your roof’s shingles.
- Work from the ground. There are fancy tools out there that allow you to clear the snow from your roof from the safety of the ground.
- Establish a perimeter. Make sure no one is standing in the vicinity of where the snow will fall.
If you absolutely have to climb up onto your roof to remove the snow, make sure to use a safety harness fastened around your waist and connected to a sturdy anchor point.
Keep Your Roof in Good Shape!
Your roof works hard to keep you comfortable and safe in the wintertime, so you should take care to do the same.
Not sure how you’re going to get all of that snow off your roof?
Get in touch with Roe Roofing! We can help you with snow removal as well as inspect your roof and carry out any necessary repairs.