Removing the snow from your roof shouldn’t be a problem as long as there are no modifications to your roof and the building structure has stayed the same. In theory, roofs are designed to withstand the weight of snow that is common to the local geography.
However, there are situations when the snow is accommodated well beyond the expected threshold, mostly due to harsh weather or longer periods of freezing rain. Under these conditions, there can be an excessive layer of snow on the roof and this may be a cause for concern.
Homeowners are often motivated by the pile of snow they see on a Sunday morning and take up the shovel to take it off. Or they see a neighbor do it and think it’s time for them to clean their rooftop, even though both houses aren’t necessarily the same.
Not just that, homeowners are often unfamiliar with the levels of snow which can be troubling. And ignorant of the fact that a certain amount of snow is actually good in a multitude of ways. Because of this, whenever they pick the shovel, they shave off all the snow on the roof entirely. While others, unbothered, only get rid of the ice dams formed on the edges.
In reality, it’s a bit more complex than that. There are ways to assess the condition of a roof and the level of threat to your roof due to the snow. In this article, we’ll answer the most frequent questions homeowners have in regard to removing the snow on their roofs.
Are There Any Benefits To The Snow On Your Roof
Having a layer of snow on your roof isn’t always a bad thing. There are some advantages to it.
A layer of snow can act as insulation and help prevent the escape of heat through your attic. If the snow on your roof is melting, it could mean that there is an escape of heat from your attic. Warm air from the house will rise and escape through any possible vents throughout your roof, consequently melting the snow.
The condition of snow on the roof is also an indication of the structural integrity of your property. If the snow on your roof lasts longer than that of your neighbors, likely, the insulation at your place is in better condition. So, yes, a small layer of snow on your roof can be beneficial and indicate good insulation overall.
Before You Remove The Snow from Your Roof- Consider This!
While there are a few benefits to keeping the snow on your roof, it’s not always healthy to have a layer of snow of abnormal thickness on your roof. But before you take the decision to clean it off, here are a few things you should know.
The regular amount of snow on your roof. Over the years, you must’ve observed a particular thickness that hasn’t been an issue. Anything beyond that should need an assessment. If you’ve recently bought a property, you can ask your neighbors about the normal snow in your vicinity.
Roofing material and Pitch of your roof. Different roofing materials provide different advantages and disadvantages. While metal roofs are known to shed snow better, shingles tend to hold the snow for a relatively long period.
Accumulation of rain is a common occurrence where rainwater isn’t able to fall from the roof and thus creates levels of ice due to cold temperatures, much denser than snow. This adds to the weight on your roof and adds to the problem.
The age of your property is an important aspect to consider when determining what snow can cause a problem. Older properties are more sensitive to accumulated snow in this regard.
How Do You Know When To Remove Snow From Your Roof
Water spots on the ceiling are the first indicator that there’s too much snow on your roof. If you notice a few minor cracks on your drywall, this could also be a sign that your roof is pushing down on the structure of your house.
The buildup of ice dams on your roof, too, is an indicator that there’s too much frozen water accumulated, and this should be given special attention. As they weigh five times more than snow and therefore possess the capacity to do damage to your roof in more than one way. Along with this, also look out for any brown stains throughout your house, normally created due to the water that sweeps in the cracks in your roof. This could be an indication of snow damage to the property.
There’s also another way that professionals commonly use to assess the level of seriousness of a snow layer. Which they do by checking whether the doors at the center of your house close properly. If they normally do, and they don’t when there’s snow present, this could mean that it’s time to pick up the shovel or call a professional to clear away the snow.
Conclusion: When to Call for Snow Removal Off Your Roof
Any of the above-mentioned conditions should be an indication that the snow on your roof should be removed. And while it’s common for homeowners to take on the job themselves, it’s best to leave the job to the professionals.
Roofing Professionals come with years of experience and know the ins and outs of the process that you, as a homeowner, aren’t familiar with. By attempting to remove the snow yourself, you could be putting yourself at risk, since there are some safety concerns to think about.
Hiring roofing professionals for snow removal will help you get the job done more efficiently and in less time. And their opinion on the condition of your roof could also be of value, and save you from potential future mishaps. Lastly, if you aren’t sure, get a professional opinion on whether it’s the right time to remove the snow. They know it best.