You might be dreaming of a white Christmas without really expecting one. But, if it were to happen it’s useful to know the best ways of dealing with snow on your roof.
Identifying a problem
In some parts of the world, heavy snowfall is a regular problem. In much of the UK yearly snowfall levels seem to have fallen over the last decade or so but that’s not to say that it won’t happen.
Indeed, a few of our national daily newspapers seem to delight in warning us each year of the long arctic like winter we’re about to endure.
If there was to be a particularly heavy snowfall, the issue of dealing with snow on your roof is less about depth as it is about weight. Wet snow is considerably heavier than dry snow and therefore is a far greater threat. To put this into perspective six inches of wet snow is comparable in weight to around 38 inches of dry snow.
There are a number of indicators that suggest if the weight of snow on your roof is problematic. These might include –
- Sticking interior doors
- Doors popping open for no apparent reason
- Difficulty opening or closing windows
- New cracks in walls or masonry
- Major roof leaks
- Visible roof sagging
- Cracks in plaster or drywall around door frames
If you experience any of these issues after a heavy snowfall it may be time to relieve some of the weight from your roof.
Removing snow from your roof
The first point to make about dealing with snow on your roof concerns safety. Scaling a roof can be a dangerous job at the best of times but add snow and ice into the equation and the dangers go literally, excuse the pun, through the roof.
Ideally you’ll be in a position to call in a qualified roofing contractor to come and do the job for you. They will have the expertise and equipment required to do the job safely and effectively. They’ll also be in possession of the right sort of insurance too…..just in case!
If you do feel the need to at least start the job yourself there are a few guidelines to adhere to –
- Avoid climbing on to a roof with a shovel – Climbing a ladder in inclement weather is bad enough without a heavy handicap.
- Use a rake from the ground – If possible remain rooted on the ground and use an extended rake to reach the snow you want to remove. Start by removing the first 2 -3 inches from your roofline then work your further up as you go.
- Don’t overdo it – There’s no need to attempt to remove all the snow from your roof in one go. You simply need to remove enough just to ensure that weight issues are alleviated.
- Get ready to move – Try to anticipate where the snow you’re removing might fall to. Particularly if there is ice involved you don’t want it falling on top of you or your helpers.
If possible, always get an expert to come in help you in dealing with snow on your roof. It’s a specialised job requiring a specialised set of skills. Hands up if you’re not dreaming of a white Christmas anymore!