One of the advantages of a sloped roof is that snow can easily slide off your roof, which lessens the occurrence of snow piling up your roof but it doesn’t take away all of it as the snowfall is continuous. As satisfying as it is to remove the accumulated snow on top of your roof, it comes with some dangers.
What not to do during the removal of snow on the roof?
- Do not climb your roof, especially if you are not a professional. Snow is still water and can be very slippery.
- Do not be too closed on the roof where you are removing the accumulated snow as it can fall off quickly and cause bodily injury.
- Do not use an open flame or electric heating devices to melt the snow and ice.
Why do you need to remove the ice and snow?
1. Excess Load
It contributes an additional load to your roof. Roof design does consider the snow load in the computation but snow can weigh differently depending on its moisture content which may not be taken accountable and is sitting on your roof for a long time. Most of the roofs can carry 20 pounds per square foot or can be calculated by (S)1.25=P, wherein S stands for the thickness (in inches) of the snow and P is the weight of the snow (in pounds per square foot).
Any more load can cause structural damage to your roof and framing which signs are saggy ceiling, creaking or unusual sounds, cracked walls or ceilings, or leaks.
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2. Ice Dam
Ice dams are the build-up of ice that forms at the edges of the roof. Ice dams happen because of poor ventilation. Ice dams can clog the melting snow and the water may penetrate through your roof causing it to leak and damage your insulation, ceiling, and other areas.
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When and how to remove snow from the roof?
As dangerous as the effects of accumulated snow on your roof, it is also dangerous to remove the snow on your own. And if you decide to do it on your own, take all the precautionary measures. Be mindful of the electrical line or any hazards that can tangle your tools and can cause electrocution. Do not go nearer than 10 feet from any power lines, wires, or any conductor as OSHA recommends.
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1. Choose the right tools
For pitched roofs, the best tool to use is the snow rakes. Snow rakes are designed to grab and pull the ice easily. It can also be extended so it can reach a higher slope but always keep a safe distance from the pulled ice falling from the roof.
2. Do it the right way
Avoid removing all the ice or snow at once as it can be very heavy and can damage your tiles or shingles, remove the snow at the edges first and scrape down the snow surface to 2 to 3 inches. When working on a ladder, always have a buddy that can hold down the ladder and provide fall protection as you are working from heights.
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3. Use de-icing products
There are many available tablets that you can throw off to your roof to help the melting of the ice. De-icing products do not affect or corrode your roofing material.
4. Call a professional
To ensure that no damages or incidents may happen, contact professionals, to remove the ice on your roof. It is best to learn it first from a professional before doing it yourself.