If you live in an area where snow is a regular occurrence during the winter months, then you’re likely aware of the damage that sitting snow can cause on your roof. Of course, a light dusting isn’t going to cause problems, but if your home has seen heavy snowfall recently and you’re starting to worry about the buildup on your roof, it’s a good idea to safely remove it to protect your home from damage.

Why Is It Important to Remove Snow Off Your Roof?

Most residential roofs can hold a good amount of snow—that is what they’re designed for, after all—but too much can be cause for worry. If you let heavy snow sit without doing anything about it, it can lead to structural problems.

Risks of Too Much Snow on Your Roof Include:

  • Sagging ceiling
  • Unusual popping, cracking, or creaking in your roof or walls
  • Interior doors that no longer open or close properly
  • Cracks in walls or masonry
  • Significant roof leaks

So how do you know how much snow is too much? Unfortunately, there’s not always a one-size-fits-all answer. The type of home, as well as the age, size, and type of roof all affect the answer to this question. That being said, there are a few major risk factors. A roof that is flat or only slightly pitched is more at risk for snow damage, especially if it’s in a position that’s below a steeper pitched roof (where snow can slide down from above). Additional risk factors include rafters that are spaced too far apart or roofs in which collar ties have been removed from the home.

While it’s impossible to give a straightforward answer to the question, “how much snow is too much?” it is possible to look out for signs of an overloaded roof and call a professional if needed.

The Best Ways to Safely Remove Snow from Your Roof

First things first: know what not to do when removing snow from your roof. Your safety is most important, so don’t be foolish about household chores. Avoid climbing onto your roof, and do not use a ladder when removing snow from your roof. In reality, there are absolutely ways to remove snow effectively and safely, so you shouldn’t need to do anything risky.

Use a Roof Rake

A roof rake is among the most popular tools for removing snow, and for good reason; it’s both safe and effective. The only caveat to this option is that you cannot use it for hardened snow; it only works for soft, fluffy snow that sloughs off easily.

When using a roof rake, do not rake off more than one foot of snow with one sweep of the rake. Instead, work in sections, like you would a vacuum cleaner, raking short strips at a time. It’s also important to make sure that you are aware of where you’re pushing the snow on the ground to prevent other people from getting hurt.

This is the safest way to remove snow from your roof on your own. While DIY sites might recommend using power machines or shoveling the snow off, these put you and your roof at serious risk during the winter months.

Hire a Roofing Professional

The safest way to remove snow from your roof is to hire a roofing professional to get the job done right. Our team of expert roofers at Indy Roof & Restoration has decades of collective industry experience, as well as special tools that allow us to clear the snow safely and effectively. Plus, you can be sure that your home’s integrity is sound and avoid paying a pretty penny for structural repairs down the road.

How to Prevent Snow and Ice Buildup

Prevention is often the best way to go when it comes to caring for your roof. And while it’s impossible to keep the snow from falling, there are some steps you can take to avoid it becoming a big problem for your home. By investing in heating cables for your roof, you can help the snow to melt quickly. While some homeowners choose to use them for the entire roof, that can get costly. We recommend targeting specific areas that often deal with more snow load, such as areas that are near a tree or under a pitched roof. Heating cables are a small investment and can save you quite a bit of time in case a storm hits.

Your Indianapolis Roofing Experts

At Indy Roof & Restoration, we specialize in making the roof replacement and repair processes simple and straightforward for homeowners. From something as basic as clearing snow to major repairs and full roof replacements, we offer friendly guidance so that you can make the most informed decision for your home. Whether you’re dealing with a homeowner’s insurance claim or you’re just due for an upgrade, we offer clear communication and high quality service so you always know what’s going on with your home.

To learn more about snow buildup on your roof, or to schedule an appointment to have one of our experts clear the snow for you, please reach out to our team today!

Aaron Christy

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