Winter is well underway and with a few heavy snowfalls under our belt in the Midwest, many of us have started thinking about snow removal. Not just typical snow removal like shoveling sidewalks and snow blowing the driveway, either. No, we’re talking about removing snow from the roof. Heavy snowfall can put a strain on your roof, so it’s crucial to add it to your snow removal to-do list. Keep reading for five tips to help you safely remove snow for your roof this winter.
Invest in the Proper Tools
Shoveling your roof can be dangerous. Having the right tools is essential to safely removing snow from the roof. Homeowners should invest in a plastic roof rake with a telescoping handle, which allows you to stay on the ground while safely removing snow from the roof. Never use mechanical equipment or sharp metal tools to remove snow, as they can cause extensive damage to the roof. Another product to avoid is salt or chemical ice melt, both of which can degrade roofing materials and cause discoloration.
Use the Safest Technique
When pulling snow from the roof, work in small batches starting with the area closest to you, and begin moving upward slowly. Piling snow in one spot or starting too far back can damage your roof—not to mention its extremely dangerous. Starting small and working your way up will ease the burden on your roof and keep you from getting hurt. As you pull snow from the roof, dispose of it in a designated spot out of the way.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
For you to safely remove snow from your roof, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Stand off to the side while pulling snow from the roof to keep wet and heavy snow from falling on you. Be sure to watch out for power lines and falling icicles, as well. It’s also important to stay on the ground as much as possible. If, for some reason, you do need to shovel snow from the roof, place the ladder in a spot where it can remain stable. Consider wearing a safety harness as an extra precaution.
Don’t Forget to Remove the Icicles
Although icicles can give off a winter wonderland vibe, they can be harmful to your home. An abundance of ice build-up in gutters may be an indication of ice dams, which prevent melting snow and ice from draining off the roof correctly. If left unchecked, water may begin pooling on the roof and seeping under shingles, which can lead to serious roof leaks. Hanging icicles may also break off and cause damage or injury. With that in mind, make it a point to remove icicles while raking snow from the roof.
Use the Buddy System
Even the most safety-conscious are vulnerable to mishaps while removing snow from the roof. For that reason, it’s wise for someone else to be present while raking the roof. That way, if something does go awry, they can call for help. If that’s not an option, make sure to have your cell phone with you so you can call or text for help if needed. Hiring a professional is also an excellent route to take if you don’t feel comfortable tackling a build-up of snow yourself.
If your roof or gutters have experienced excessive damage this winter, Yanish Custom Exteriors can help. Our team of professionals has experience in gutters, roof repairs, roof replacement, and new roofing systems. Get in touch to learn more.