Winter is on its way and before you know it, it will be time to shovel snow again. Allowing snow and ice to pile up on your roof can damage the underlying structure and cause your roof to collapse. Here are some ideas to keep your home safe without taking a roof snow load measurement.
Look at the Roof
At times of heavy snow accumulation, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your roof. Look for anything that appears to be bending that should not, like rafters and joists. If the roof appears sound, it is safe to remove the snow with a roof rake. Start with the edges of the roof first. Keeping this area clear on both sides of the house will help prevent ice dams from forming. Scrape gently to avoid damaging the roof surface.
Keep it Moving
Clean leaves and debris out of the gutters and drains to keep water running unimpeded. Clogged gutters can contribute to the formation of ice dams. Heat tape can help with the situation, but it’s best to keep the area clear so that water does not back up onto the roof.
The Shape of Things
Your roof’s profile has a lot to do with the amount of snow that accumulates on it. A flat roof is going to require more attention and shoveling than a peaked roof. The greater the slope of the roof, the more effectively snow will slide off.
Always use caution when working on a roof. Metal roofs are much slipperier than asphalt shingles, so watch your footing. Never go up on a roof by yourself. Be sure to always have someone nearby. If you are on the ground when someone else is clearing snow and ice from a roof, stay out of the way of falling material.
By paying attention to gutter maintenance and keeping an eye on your roof, you can avoid major repairs later.