How to Know if You Should Remove Snow From Your Roof
Updated: Aug 17
So far, it hasn’t been a very white winter here in central Iowa. But with plenty of winter left, snow is undoubtedly in the near forecast. As a homeowner, you might have pondered, "Should you remove snow from your roof?" and how to do it safely.
Before you consider removing the snow from your roof, you should ask, “How much snow is too much?”
How much snow is too much snow on my roof?
More than the depth of your snow, you should consider the weight of the snow. Wet snow is much heavier than dry, fluffy snow. Six inches of wet snow can equal the weight of almost 38 inches of dry snow.
If you’re concerned about your roof caving in, it’s good to know that building codes require your roof to withstand the heaviest snows Iowa can dump on us.
Should I remove snow from my roof?
So, how do you know if the snow on your roof is wet or dry? Local forecasts will usually let you know.
But after a heavy blanket of wet snow has fallen, you’re left wondering if there are any indicators of whether it needs to come down. Your interior doors are a good clue. If they begin to stick, that can be a sign that the weight of the snow on your home’s center structure is affecting the door frames.
Check interior doors leading to second-floor bedrooms and closets in the center of your home. Examine the drywall or plaster around the frames of these doors for visible cracks.
Is ice melt bad for your roof?
Always avoid using salt on your roof. Any midwest driver can explain the damage it can do to a car if it’s not washed off. Using salt and other ice melt chemicals can damage your roof and your property. It can lead to:
• Discolored shingles
• Dead shrubbery
• Dead grass
• Discolored driveway, sidewalks, or front stoop
• Corroded gutters and downspouts
• Rust and pits on your flashing, which may eventually cause roof leaks
• Rusted roofing nails and flashing which may lead to rust streaks on your roof
• Saltwater leaking into your home as a result of said leaks
If you must remove snow from your roof
If you’ve determined you must remove the snow from your roof, then don’t do it yourself. It’s dangerous and you can damage shingles. Shoveling snow on a pitched roof is dangerous and using a roof rake from the ground can damage your asphalt shingles.
Instead, call a professional to safely remove the snow for you. A professional snow removal contractor uses special tools to protect themself and your roof.
However, their job is not to remove every last snowflake from your home. The goal is to remove "excessive" weight to protect your roof’s structure.
If you’re concerned about the amount of snow on your roof, remember: light, fluffy snow most likely won’t damage your roof. It’s more about the weight than the amount. But if you feel your home’s structure could be affected by the weight of the snow building up, call a professional. Hiring a professional to remove the excess snow from your roof will protect you and your roof.