Removing snow on the ground is a pain. Getting it off your house is another matter entirely. Working on your roof is hard enough in the best conditions. Now, add ice, snow, wind, and maybe some sleet to the situation. When the circumstances dictate removing snow from your roof (roof collapse or ice dams), should you get up there and do it yourself or call for professional help? Here are some things for you to consider to help you decide when and what to do.
Weigh, Don’t Measure.
How deep the snow on your roof is won’t matter. You need to know the weight of it. Just six inches of wet snow weighs as much as almost 40 inches of dry snow. Roofs are generally built to withstand more than the expected snowfall in your area. If the climate has shifted or you experience an unusually strong snowstorm, then you want to start checking the weight. How do you do that? Shovel some of it off your driveway. You’ll know when the snow is wet. You can also check local weather stations.
Listen to Your Doors
If you want to know if your roof is having a hard time with weight, go check your interior doors. Improperly installed or renovated homes are the most susceptible to this kind of damage. Make sure you check interior doors for second-floor bedrooms, closets, or attics centrally located in the home. You may also see damage or warping in the drywall or plaster around doorframes.
Another circumstance dictating snow removal comes when you get ice dams. Snowmelt that freezes along the edge of your roof forms these icy blockages. This prevents later melt from getting to the ground, causing water to seep inside your roof and damage your home.
What to Do
You’ve determined the snow needs removed. Now, how do you accomplish this? Do you call for a professional or get a friend or family member out there with you to do it yourself? Here’s a simple rule for deciding: If you must get on the roof, call a professional. You face the risk of falling and seriously injuring yourself or worse. If you can remove the snow from a ladder with various snow clearing tools, do so. Snow rakes or drag lines work well from the ground.
However, the best option is simply to hire a professional service to come do the job for you. They will come trained and prepared for the task with special gear, including strong ladders that extend, anchored safety harnesses, and special snow/ice-removal tools. Be sure to check that they are licensed and insured in case of injuries. When they are finished, you will have a roof free of snow, but not completely dry. They are there to relieve the pressure on your roof, not to completely de-ice it. Doing that may damage your roof in other ways.
If you think you may need snow removed from your roof, give Mr. Roof a call. We’ll get our highly trained local roofers out as soon as possible to inspect your home and let you know what needs to be done.