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Removing Snow from Your Roof

Snow and ice are the enemies of your roof. Piling snow adds weight and structural stress, and ice dams can damage gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water back-ups that can be extremely harmful and costly to your home. But rather than lying awake at night worrying about your roof every time the flakes fly, take some time to prepare for the season by preventing problems before they happen and knowing how to tackle problems when they do.

Install heating cables

Heating or de-icing cables are weather-resistant, insulated electric cables that warm up the overhang of your roof to keep ice from building up in the eaves. They’re not the perfect solution to winter roof problems (and your electric bill will definitely go up), but they’re helpful for ice dam prevention, weight reduction, and they improve water flow through gutters and downspouts.

Use a roof rake

It’s unsafe to walk on your roof any time of the year but especially hazardous in winter. Depending on the size and style of your house (rakes are only designed to be used from the ground, never from a ladder), a roof rake can remove enough snow to reduce the risk of damage. After at least 6 inches of snow build-up, carefully shave the snow in rows starting at the edge and making your way to the top. Always press gently to make sure the rake does not come into contact with the shingles. And remember, never use a roof rake near power lines.

Don’t knock off icicles

Knocking down icicles can be dangerous. You risk injuring yourself, and large chunks of falling ice are unpredictable and unsafe. Removing icicles can also tear away the gutter or damage the shingles. As long as they’re not in a dangerous location, you’re better off letting icicles melt on their own.

Hire a professional

If your home is too tall to safely use a roof rake, and Old Man Winter is having a particularly active year, it’s best to call in the professionals who can remove the ice safely and carefully using a combination of shoveling and steaming. Do your research and only use companies that are insured and well-reviewed, so you’re not left with more damage to your roof than when you started.

If you’re not sure your roof and gutter system is winter-ready, contact the experts at Hampton Roofing for an assessment. We can spot potential hazards and weaknesses in your roofing system and make the necessary repairs to give you peace of mind all winter long.

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