What are the consequences of not clearing snow off a roof?
Removing snow is probably one of homeowners least favorite things to do (aside from cleaning clogged gutters!), it is dangerous and tiring work. A smooth layer of snow on a rooftop can look pleasing to the eye, but they’re many dangers that could be lurking under that beautiful blanket of snow. Snow accumulation creates ice dams on your roof and overhangs which in turn can cause leakage into the home. Another reason to clean off all that snow is the substantial amount of weight and stress it puts on your roof. Cave-ins occur more frequently than you might think.
How do I know when I should clean off my roof?
Each home structure is different. And it is important to know how much weight your roof can sustain. Most roofs cans withstand 20 lbs per square foot. Wet vs fluffy snow also plays a factor as they both weigh more or less. As a general guideline, one square-foot of snow that is one inch in depth weighs about a pound. If your roof has 12 inches of snow on it, it could potentially add thousands of pounds of weight and stress to your roof. That doesn’t even take in consideration ice dams that could be forming under the snow. Ice dams weigh considerably more than just snow.
Cleaning off your roof:
If your main concern is preventing ice dams, every 6″ of snowfall, you should clear off your roof. If you are more worried about a roof collapse, then clearing your roof after every 12″ of snow should be sufficient.
To decide the best method of snow removal from your roof depends on your roof pitch. Shoveling snow off a roof works best on a flat roofs, homes more than one story high and roofs with a lot of valleys. If the snow has become hardened and packed down, shoveling is also the best practice to take down those stubborn snow piles. A roof rake best serves homes that are one story and do not have heavy, wet, packed and hardened snow. Roof rakes are great for normal maintenace throughout the winter.