Should You Shovel Your Roof? Tips for Clearing Snow Off Your Maryland Home

Should You Shovel Your Roof? Tips for Clearing Snow Off Your Maryland Home

Do you worry about snow accumulation on your roof?

You aren’t alone.

Heavy loads of snow can cause several issues, including damage from excessive weight, moisture intrusion, and the growth of ice dams. The ice dams in turn create their own collection of problems you certainly want to avoid.

So, what exactly can you do about that snow on your roof? Grab a shovel and start climbing? Leave it to a professional? Ignore it and wait for it to melt?

Let’s find out.

Is Weight From Snow a Real Threat To Your Roof?

A home that is built to code is designed to withstand excess weight. With that said, circumstances can change over time, including the negative effects of old age, homes with multiple layers of shingles adding additional weight, unidentified damage or decay, etc...

In short, you should be proactive about keeping your roof healthy and sound. Routine checks from a professional roofing company can help you keep close tabs on this essential system, nipping issues in the bud and quickly identifying any weak points.

Bear in mind: it is not so much the depth of the snow that causes problems, but the weight. A foot of fluffy powder weighs much less than six inches of saturated, heavy, wet snow.

What Is the Best Way To Remove Snow From Your Roof?

We do not advise that you ever climb up and try to clear your roof yourself.

Why? A huge number of homeowners hurt themselves every year attempting these types of projects without the right safety training, apparatus, and knowledge. Combining ladders, heights, ice, slippery surfaces, and lifting snow is just a recipe for trouble. It also can compound surface damage on your roof, shortening the life of the shingles and materials underfoot.

With that said, what are some practical and safe steps you can take?

  • Heat Trace Cables - This awesome solution provides radiant heat through the sections of your roof that need it most, including areas susceptible to ice dam formation. Learn more here!
  • Proper Attic Insulation - If you don't know already, you definitely will be surprised by how important insulation and ventilation really are.
  • Roof Rake - These tools have extending handles and can be purchased at most home supply stores. Ideally, look for a model that has small wheels at the bottom of the rake, allowing it to roll over your roof’s surface rather than have to be dragged.
  • Focus On the Sections That Matter Most - The entire roof doesn’t need to be cleared (good news, right?). The most important sections, especially with ice dam prevention in mind, are those 3-4 foot stretches from the roofline back up. In other words, clear just the edges. This is especially important if your home has an overhang.

Contact a Local Roofing Professional

The safest and wisest step you can take is to locate a trustworthy roofing professional and ask for help with maintenance, inspections, and care. This relatively small investment pays huge dividends over time, and will certainly help you sleep better during snowy, rainy, and windy nights.

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