Roof Snow Removal Tips

While snow-covered roofs can make for a picturesque winter scene, the combination of freshly fallen snow with the melting and refreezing of snow can place stress on the roof of your home or business.  If more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice have accumulated on the roof, you should have it removed.

Snow Removal Tips

Clearing the snow off your roof from the gutters or eaves upwards of three to four feet after each winter storm can help prevent ice dams from forming.  Remember to avoid using a ladder in snowy and icy conditions.  This can be extremely dangerous and is best left to professionals.

For Flat Roofs:

If your flat roof is easily accessible from an interior stairway, you may want to shovel the roof, but be careful not to damage the roof covering.

Remember to put safety first any time you are on a roof, especially one that is covered in snow and ice.  If you have any doubt, leave it to professionals.

For Sloped Roofs:

It may be possible to remove the snow and ice from your sloped roof using a roof rake – a long-handled tool designed specifically for this purpose.  Stand on the ground and pull as much of the snow off the eaves as you can safely reach.

If you cannot safely reach the roof, contact a homebuilder, landscaping and roofing contractor, or property maintenance company to remove the snow and ice.  Before hiring a contractor, check their references.  Always be sure any contractor you hire is qualified, insured and bonded.

The amount of snow and ice your roof can support will depend on a number of factors, including the roof type as well as the age and condition of the structure.  But a good rule to keep in mind is if more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice has accumulated on your roof, you should have it removed.

Frozen Pipes

With the extreme cold that is settling over our area this weekend, the potential for frozen pipes is high.  Here are some smart tips to help you prevent or address what could easily become a very messy and expensive situation.

  • See to your outdoor water lines: Before cold weather arrives, drain water sprinkler and swimming pool supply lines, and remove, drain and store outdoor hoses. If possible, close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs, and open the outside hose bibs for draining. Keep them open so any remaining water can expand without breaking the pipe. If you can’t shut off the water from the inside, pick up some foam faucet covers.
  • Keep your home warm: Maintain an interior temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you’re sleeping or not at home. Seal any drafts and leave interior doors open to help keep an even temperature from room to room.
  • Tend to those pipes: Leave the cabinet doors open in the kitchen and bathroom so your pipes aren’t shut off from the warm air. You can also insulate your pipes with sleeves, heat tape or heat cable. Insulation is especially important in unheated areas, such as your attic, basement, garage or crawl space, and for pipes running along exterior walls. During severe cold spells, you may want to leave all faucets, both hot and cold, running at a slight trickle.
  • Call in a professional: Frozen water in your pipes can cause them to burst, meaning you’ll have a mess on your hands once that water unthaws. So, act quickly to shut off your main water supply, and call in a licensed plumber to see to the situation.