With Halloween in our rear-view mirror, the cold season has officially arrived in Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Now is the time to start thinking about how to maintain your roof during the winter. This is an important part of your home maintenance. Why is this? Because an excessive buildup of snow will put stress on the roof because of how heavy it can be. And because of the potential for ice dams to form on the roof. Ice dams can cause leaks in your home that can do a lot of damage. Keep reading for more information from your Pocatello roofing contractor about what you should do, but first, we’ll take a look at when snow should be removed from the roof.
When You Should Remove Snow
You certainly don’t need to remove snow from your roof every time it falls. How do you know when it is necessary? The following should help you make an informed decision about how to keep your roof in good shape during the winter.
- Your pitch — A flat or shallow pitch is going to collect more snow and be at more risk. When the snow doesn’t have any place to go, it builds up and may start melting which will place even more weight on your roof.
- Know your snow — Not all snow is the same. Light and fluffy snow is likely not a big deal, but when it is wet and heavy, problems can arise. Pay attention to the density of the snow on your roof.
- Drifting — We tend to have a lot of wind in southeast Idaho. This causes snow to drift and create large piles. If it does this on your roof, you might have some snow overload that needs to be addressed.
Snow Removal Tips
- Don’t use your regular ladder. It can develop ice on the rungs and cause injury. There are special ladders designed for this type of job.
- Don’t try to melt the snow with items like a hairdryer or a heat gun. This can actually create more ice which will add to the weight on your roof.
- Don’t add snow to your roof. This may sound strange but there can be some benefits from having a safe amount of snow on your roof. But the benefits aren’t worth the risks that can come with them.
- Avoid using metal tools. Not only can this cause damage to your shingles or other parts of the roof, but maybe an electrical conductor if you happen to hit a power line. Instead, use tools made from plastic — like a roof rake. More on that in a minute.
- Keep large amounts of snow away from places like ventilation openings, fire escapes, and drain downspouts.
- Start from the edge of your roof and work your way further onto your roof.
- Don’t try to do this yourself when there are heavy loads that need to be removed unless you have the proper equipment to do it safely.
Raking Your Roof
Your local hardware store should have roof rakes. Pick one up and make use of it when the big snowstorms hit — and we know they will a few times every winter. Using a roof rake is going to be one of the best options for homeowners to care for their roof during the winter. Just make sure that you do it safely. Avoid standing where the snow could fall right on top of you and don’t climb up on the roof when it is slick.
Climbing up on your roof can be one of the most dangerous things you can do at your home. The risk just becomes that much greater when the weather is bad and snow/ice is involved.
Thousands of people injure themselves every year in ladder-related accidents. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, every year 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries and approximately 300 of these incidents prove to be fatal. Take a look at these numbers.
- In 2009, out of 617 fatal falls, 20 percent were from the ladder, 18 percent were from the roof.
- In 2010, out of 646 falls work-related falls, 20 percent were from the ladder, 18 percent were from the roof.
- During a 16-year study, ladder-related injuries per 100,000 people rose almost 27 percent. And 97.3 percent occurred in non-occupational settings, such as homes and farms. In addition, more than 2.1 million people needed to be hospitalized. That is close to twice the overall admission rate for consumer-product related injuries.
We suggest having an expert Pocatello roofing company (hey, that’s us!) help you get the snow off of your roof when necessary. Many homeowners are tempted to do this themselves. However, this can be a bad decision. Professional roofers have the training, experience, and equipment to perform these jobs safely so you don’t have to put yourself at risk.
Use A Pocatello Roofing Contractor
Many roofs have angles and valleys that are difficult to reach and can collect large amounts of snow. This is why we recommend contacting a professional for snow removal from your roof — especially if there are any signs of damage. Premier Roofing is the Pocatello roofing contractor that has the solution to any roof issues that you may have and in many cases, can prevent issues from becoming major problems in the future. The snow is coming soon. Make your plan now to be ready. Don’t wait until you’ve got a big problem or risk your safety by climbing on a snowy roof. Give us a call instead!