Dangers of Ice and Snow Accumulation on Your Roof
A beautiful blanket of snow may be fun for the kids, but did you know that snow and ice build-up on your roof can cause major damage? For example:
- Extended ice and snow can weigh on your roof and gutters.
- Improper draining as the snow and ice melt could cause rot and roof leaks.
- Blocked vents or pipes could cause home systems to malfunction.
That’s why removing accumulated snow and breaking up ice dams is an important part of your winter roof maintenance checklist.
What is an ice dam?
Ice dams are accumulations of snow and ice over your gutters and along the eaves of your home. If you don’t remove them, they can tear off your gutters, damaged shingles, and create a leak in your home.
To ensure your home stays protected and stable through every snowfall, check out our roof maintenance tips for removing snow and ice and keeping it off.
Important Safety Tips for Winter Roof Maintenance
- Stay on the ground.
- Always have someone to help.
- Don’t allow more than a foot of snow to form on your roof.
- Don’t climb on garages or outbuildings to examine your roof.
- Determine where the snow should fall when removing it to avoid damaging cars, meters, or outdoor HVAC units.
- Stay away from electrical lines and wiring.
How To Safely Remove Ice and Snow from Your Roof
What To Use
Roof Rake – A roof rake features a 15-20 foot pole with a rubber blade attachment. This allows you to safely rake the snow off your roof from the ground. Be sure to rake the snow towards an area with no cars or equipment. Although more labor-intensive, this is a fool-proof way of removing snow and maintaining proper roof maintenance.
Heating Cable – If you live in an area that annually receives heavy snowfall, consider investing in a heating cable for your roof. As part of your annual roof maintenance before the first snowfall, you can string the cable along your roof near the eaves and it heats slightly to prevent ice and snow from accumulating. Heating cables are easy to find at hardware stores or online – be sure to buy the one with the best safety rating and reviews!
Non-Corrosive Deicer – Calcium chloride-based deicers are the best option for breaking down ice dams and snow along your gutter. Many experts recommend filling a pantyhose with the deicer, then laying it vertically across the ice dam. The calcium chloride will melt the snow and ice, creating a channel where water can flow off your roof.
What Not To Use
Rock Salt – Never use rock salt on your roof! While it is a great deicer for other areas, it will corrode your roofing surface and damage your flashing and gutters. Keeping non-corrosive deicers available is a great way to keep up with winter roof maintenance.
Metal Shovels – If you do want to remove snow or ice by hand, never use a metal shovel or scrape. You are likely to damage shingles as you remove the snow, weakening your roof and creating an area where moisture can seep in.
Roof Repair, Service, & Replacement
When To Call a Professional Roofer
If a roof rake and deicer aren’t cutting it to remove the snow and ice from your roof, it is always best to call a professional roofing company to perform roof maintenance. We also recommend calling a professional if you have an especially steep or flat roof as removing snow and ice is trickier. Roofers can quickly and safely remove accumulated snow and ice without causing damage to your roof or risking the integrity of your home.
If you need a local roofing company to perform this service for your home, call Perimeter Roofing! We have locations in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida and we are always available to aid in your winter roofing needs. So contact us today to schedule roof maintenance or repair!