Roof Snow Removal (Explained In 5 Steps)
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Roof Snow Removal (5 Steps to Protect Your Roof This Winter)

Posted by Northface Construction

As winter blankets the landscape with its serene beauty, it also brings with it a potential hazard that many homeowners often overlook: snow accumulation on the roof. While a snow-covered roof may look picturesque, it can pose significant dangers to both your property and your safety.

In today’s blog post, we will explore:

Why Snow on Your Roof is Dangerous

snow on a roof

Snow accumulation on your roof may seem harmless, but it can lead to a myriad of issues if left unattended. One of the primary dangers is the added weight it places on your roof structure. The weight of snow can exceed the load-bearing capacity of your roof, leading to structural damage or even collapse in extreme cases.

Additionally, as snow melts and refreezes, it can create ice dams along the edges of your roof. These dams prevent proper drainage, causing water to seep into your home and potentially damaging ceilings, walls, insulation, and electrical systems. Ice dams also pose a safety hazard as they can fall unexpectedly, endangering anyone below.

Furthermore, the weight of snow can cause gutters and downspouts to become overloaded or detached from the roof, compromising their functionality and potentially causing water damage to your home’s foundation.

Dangerous Weights of Snow

Understanding the weight of snow is crucial for assessing the risk it poses to your roof. Wet, heavy snow can weigh significantly more than light, fluffy snow. On average, one square foot of snow that is one inch deep weighs about one pound. However, this weight can vary depending on factors such as moisture content and compaction.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a cubic foot of dry, powdery snow can weigh as little as three pounds, while a cubic foot of wet, compacted snow can weigh up to 21 pounds. With these figures in mind, it’s easy to see how even a moderate snowfall can add thousands of pounds of additional weight to your roof.

How to Properly Remove Snow in 5 Steps

shoveling the roof

Proper snow removal is essential for safeguarding your home and preventing damage to your roof. However, it’s essential to approach this task with caution to avoid injury or further damage. Here are some tips for safe and effective snow removal:

1) Use the Right Tools:

Invest in a sturdy snow rake or shovel specifically designed for roof snow removal. Avoid using metal tools that can damage your roof or gutters.

2) Work from the Ground:

Whenever possible, remove snow from the ground using a long-handled rake or shovel. Avoid climbing onto the roof, as it increases the risk of injury and roof damage.

3) Start at the Edges:

Begin by clearing snow from the edges of your roof to prevent ice dams from forming. Work your way towards the center, pushing the snow off the roof rather than lifting it.

4) Avoid Ice Dam Removal:

While it may be tempting to chip away at ice dams, doing so can cause further damage to your roof and gutters. Instead, focus on preventing ice dams by ensuring proper attic insulation and ventilation.

5) Stay Safe:

Always work with a partner, and never remove snow during inclement weather or icy conditions. If you’re unsure about the safety of removing snow yourself, enlist the help of a professional.

Why You Should Leave It to a Professional

While DIY snow removal may seem like a cost-effective option, it can be dangerous and ineffective without the proper knowledge and equipment. Professional roof snow removal services have the expertise and tools necessary to safely and efficiently clear snow from your roof while minimizing the risk of damage. Here are some reasons why you should consider hiring a professional:

The Cost to Remove Snow

The cost of snow removal varies depending on factors such as the size and pitch of your roof, the amount of snow accumulation, and your location. On average, professional roof snow removal services charge between $200 and $500 per visit. However, prices can range higher for larger homes or significant snow events.

While DIY snow removal may seem like a cost-effective option, it’s essential to consider the potential risks and expenses associated with improper removal techniques. The cost of repairing roof damage or addressing water intrusion issues far outweighs the expense of hiring a professional snow removal service.

How to Prep Your Roof for Winter

Proper preparation is key to protecting your roof from the hazards of winter weather. Here are some essential steps to take before the first snowfall:


Schedule a professional roof inspection to identify any existing damage or potential issues that may worsen during the winter months. Addressing these problems early can prevent costly repairs down the road.

Clean Gutters and Downspouts:

Clear debris from gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage. Clogged gutters can lead to ice dams and water damage to your home’s interior and exterior.

Trim Overhanging Branches:

Trim back overhanging tree limbs that could pose a risk to your roof during heavy snow or ice storms. Falling branches can cause significant damage to shingles and gutters.

Inspect Attic Insulation and Ventilation:

Ensure that your attic is adequately insulated and ventilated to prevent heat loss and ice dam formation. Proper attic ventilation helps maintain consistent roof temperature and prevents snow from melting and refreezing on the roof’s surface.

Install Snow Guards:

Consider installing snow guards along the edges of your roof to prevent large chunks of snow and ice from sliding off unexpectedly. Snow guards help distribute the weight of snow evenly and reduce the risk of injury or property damage.

Choose Professional Snow Removal Companies

Snow accumulation on your roof may seem innocuous, but it can pose significant risks to your property and safety if left unchecked. By understanding the dangers of roof snow, employing proper removal techniques, and enlisting the help of professional snow removal services when necessary, you can protect your home and loved ones from the potential hazards of winter weather.

Additionally, by taking proactive steps to prepare your roof for winter, you can minimize the risk of damage and ensure peace of mind throughout the cold season.

Remember, when it comes to safeguarding your home, prevention is always the best policy. If you are looking for a professional to help you remove snow, look no further than Northface Construction. Contact us today to learn more.


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