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Safety First: Your Ultimate Guide to Rooftop Snow Removal

Winter comes and goes, and whether you like it or not, snow comes and goes with it (unless you live in an area that does not experience snow during winter, of course).

And we all know the feeling when the snow starts to fall, it’s always tempting to just stay in bed and get as warm as possible.

But as you try to snuggle deeper into your sheets, a fresh layer of snow is starting to nestle over the old layer of snow that has been resting on top of your roof for days now, and if you don’t attend to that right away, you’re risking the quality of your roof and your family’s safety.

Think we’re exaggerating?

If your roof is not at its peak condition, melted snow that re-froze underneath your roof shingles can create ice dams.

The more you allow snow to accumulate on your roof, there’s a higher chance that you’re risking the structure of your roof:

One cubic foot of dry snow actually weighs about seven pounds, while a cubic foot of wet snow weighs anywhere from 12 to 18 pounds. Houses with flat roofings are in greater danger if homeowners don’t get up and clear the snow that’s accumulating on top of their roof.

So before you get too comfortable, get up and grab a snow rake (for sloped roofings) or a shovel (for flat roofings) as we guide you on how to take care of your roof during the winter:


  • If you have a sloped roof, use a snow rake, which is available in most hardware stores, to scrape off the snow from the ground
  • Start scraping snow by starting at the edge of your roof and work yourself in
  • If you have a flat roof and can easily access your roof, use a shovel to throw off the snow away from your home, entrances, driveway, and main paths
  • Be wary of power lines, cables, overhanging tree branches and the like while shoveling or scraping snow off your roof
  • Leave at least 2-3 inches of snow when scraping or shoveling—this will lessen the risk of damaging your roof materials
  • Remove ice and snow from gutters, drains, and downspouts
  • Remember that 6 inches of snow can promote ice dams and 12 inches of snow can cause your roof to collapse
  • Call a professional if you can not do it yourself


  • As much as possible, don’t use a ladder to scrape off snow from your roof
  • Don’t use metallic materials when scraping or digging snow from your roof—this can damage your roof’s shingles
  • Don’t use salt products on your roof to remove snow
  • Don’t use heating products to melt—this can promote the formation of ice dams—or remove snow on your roof
  • Don’t leave snow pathways on your roof—this will create an uneven weight distribution on your roof
  • If you are unsure, do not attempt to remove snow by yourself

Need help?

Let’s admit it. We do not always have the time to scrape off snow and ice from our rooftop, which is why it is always best to communicate with your trusted roofing company.

Most, if not all, roofing companies have snow removal plans. Investing in one can come really handy especially if you do not have the time to remove snow by yourself or if you have no idea on how to remove snow on your own. With the right roofing company, you can easily find out how their plans work and how you can go about them.

If you can not see yourself investing in a snow removal plan but have no knowledge of how to remove snow by yourself, do not attempt to do it. Once you notice snow accumulating on your rooftop, do not hesitate to seek help from a trusted roofing company. Your safety always comes first. And as much as possible, let the professionals do what they do best.

Here at Roofing Journey, we have a list of roofing contractors who are good at snow removal, whether as planned or unplanned, making sure your home and your family and your home are safe.

If your roof is in need of expert snow removal, preventive maintenance or repairs, click here or email us at [email protected] for your rooftop’s next journey.

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Last modified: July 22, 2019