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Alu-Rex > Eavestroughs and rain water management blog

house-roof-snowCanadian winters come with their fair share of snow. The look of that blanket of snow on your roof is all very picturesque and romantic, but it’s important to make sure that too much snow doesn’t accumulate on top. Snow on a roof can cause problems and, in many cases, the roof will need to be cleared a few times during the winter season.

Why clear snow from your roof?

Every time it snows, some of the precipitation remains on the roof. This can cause several types of problems for the house. Indeed, this considerable weight can cause the roof to collapse. In addition, snow can cause water infiltration which is both costly and complicated to repair.

Moreover, snow accumulation on the roof sometimes causes ice and icicles to form. When the insulation or ventilation in the attic is insufficient, major heat loss can melt the snow, which then turns to ice and icicles. This is a serious problem that increases the risk of water seeping in through the roof.

When should you clear snow from your roof?

Although there’s no universal rule that you can use to figure out when it’s time to clear the snow from your roof, certain basic standards apply. As a general rule, if the snow that has accumulated on the roof is more than 6 inches thick, it should be removed. However, if the house has no icicle problems, you can wait until a foot of snow has accumulated.

However, another factor to take into consideration is the weight of the snow. The wetter the snow, the heavier it will be. Therefore, you may have to clear the roof sooner if the snow is wet, and you may be able to wait longer if it’s not.

How do you remove excess snow from your roof?

When the time comes to clear snow from your roof, a roof rake with an extendable handle is very useful. Mainly used when the roof is not too high, a roof rake allows you to remove the snow from ground level. If the house is a bit higher, you can still use it to clear snow from the drip flashings.

Whether you have to finish scraping the roof or remove snow that’s too heavy or too hard, a shovel is also a good tool for clearing snow. Unfortunately, its main disadvantage is that you have to go up onto the roof to use it, which presents the risk of falling and injuring yourself.

A trick to reduce the risk of falling when removing snow is to start with the highest part of the roof. The snow that remains on the lower part protects your roof covering when you’re moving the cleared snow but also serves as a brake for your shovel… and for yourself!

Clearing snow from your roof: Do it yourself, or hire a pro?

Whether your house has one storey or more, clearing snow from the roof is not an easy task. Especially if you have to climb onto the roof – you need to be very careful. Besides all the risks involved in climbing up a ladder, walking on a snow-covered roof presents many hazards. It is strongly recommended that you call upon a professional to handle this type of chore.

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