PuroClean review snow removal tips and tricks.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Roof Snow Removal

Water Restoration

The winter season is upon us! Although the season’s snowy delights charm us, snow can become a nuisance when it accumulates on our rooftops.

Removing snow from your home is something every responsible homeowner is familiar with to avoid damage or the roof collapsing. In this blog, we’ll go over some of the more practical tips and tools you can use to safely and effectively eliminate snow. 

Snow Removal Safety Tips

Your house can be a haven for snowfall accumulation. Varying types of snow, including heavy snow, fluffy snow, and melting snow, can accumulate on the roof, making snow removal a necessary and often dangerous task. Before attempting to remove it, familiarizing yourself with the necessary safety tips and what you can do to prevent damage before it’s too late is critical. 

Before the snow falls, it’s a good idea to clean out your gutters. Gutters free of debris can ensure melting snow can easily travel away from your roof. Heat coils, also known as heat tape, heat wire, or roof ice cables, are heated cables that can be attached to your roof and hasten the snowmelt, but not if your gutters are clogged with leaves.

Snow should never be removed from an elevated surface while standing on that surface. Ladders are essential for safe snow removal and must be adequately secured. It’s also important to wear appropriate clothing and gear, including an appropriate head covering, gloves, and snow boots.

Removing Snow: What You Need to Know

Once you’ve adequately prepared, you can begin removing the snow. It should be removed to minimize the risk of snow and ice sliding off the roof.

  • Snow should be removed when it’s about six inches deep; snow thicker than this can lead to property damage.
  • It is also important to note that snow needs to be removed from the edges of your roof first and then worked up in sections towards ridges.
  • At least two inches of snow should be left on to avoid severe damage to the roof covering and additional losses.
  • Live in a one-story home? Stay on the ground and use a telescoping roof rake to remove the snow. Always proceed with caution when raking the snow so you don’t hit any overhead power lines. If your home is two stories or higher, you may need to rely on a tool like a snow blower.
  • No matter which snow removal method you choose, always wear a safety harness while shoveling snow on top of your home. The last thing you need to worry about is an accident or falling from your roof.
Four people in the crew wearing harnesses to remove snow.
Using a harness is vital to ensure your safety while raking.
  • Using mechanical equipment specialized in snow removal is not recommended, as these tools may damage the shingles. A manual method is the better option whenever possible.
  • Remember that snow and ice should never be melted with salt or salt products, as this can discolor shingles and kill vegetation that the snow will melt.
  • Disposing of snow properly is also essential. Snow should be discarded in designated areas on the ground, away from walkways, building exits, ventilation, or drain downspouts. 
  • If the temperature is above freezing, put your seed spreader to work to evenly distribute ice melt on your driveway and walkway.
  • If you’re not keen on performing such an intricate task or are unaccustomed to snow removal, consider hiring a licensed contractor or company.

These tips provide helpful information and best practices for snow removal from roofs. They can help protect your home from snow damage and keep you safe during the winter.

Tools to Use For Snow Removal

Snow removal doesn’t have to be a daunting and overwhelming chore! You can use equipment and tools to facilitate the process without sacrificing safety and efficiency.

  • Deluxe snow roof rakes. Deluxe snow roof rakes are the most common tool designed specifically for removal without causing damage. These snow rakes feature a long handle and a snow scoop that can be used from the ground, so you don’t have to climb on your roof. 
  • Soft roof rakes. Soft roof rakes have a soft head to prevent shingle damage. This type of snow rake is more expensive than the deluxe snow roof rake but is gentler on the rooftop. 
  • Calcium chloride. This inorganic compound works the best for ice control at shallow temperatures, up to negative 25 degrees, but it is the most expensive rock salt. Sodium chloride rock salt is more affordable, but it is less effective at melting ice at low temperatures.
  • Snow blowers. Snow blowers are snow removal tools that make removal fast and easy. They are powered by electricity or gas and can clear snow up to six meters away, making snow removal quick and efficient.
A man using a snow blower to remove snow.
A snow blower is an effective removal tool.
  • Razor roof rakes. Razor roof rakes are designed for snow accumulation up to a few feet thick. This snow removal tool features sharp blades that pierce through snow and ice with little effort. 
  • Telescoping snow rakes.  Telescoping snow removal rakes have a long handle and an adjustable snow scoop, making removal from higher rooftops safer. 
  • Snow trapper.  This electrically powered snow removal machine with a conveyor belt mechanism eliminates snow quickly.
  • Snow foam. Snow foam is a tool that uses snow-melting agents to remove snow from roofs quickly. It is an effective snow removal option but can be expensive and is not recommended for snow accumulation of more than 39 inches. 
  • Brine. Brine is a liquid mixture of water and salt sprayed on roads, parking lots, and walkways, usually before a snow or ice storm, to prevent snow and ice from sticking. Brine uses one-quarter of the amount of salt as traditional rock salt, so it’s gentler for the environment. One truckload of brine equals four truckloads of salt. 

The Rake Versus Shovel Debate: Choosing the Right Tool

The snow removal tool you use should depend on several factors, such as snow accumulation height and roof material. A snow rake is generally preferred over a shovel for shallow snow accumulations. Rakes are perfect for clearing snow from asphalt shingles or metal tops and can be used from the ground, eliminating any need to climb onto the roof. 

Snow shovels are often the best for snow accumulations more significant than six to eight inches or from wood shake or tile roofs. If you use a snow shovel, take extra precautions to prevent snow from slipping underneath the shingle and causing damage. 

All these factors can help you choose the right tool for your roof snow removal project. Snow and ice removal can be dangerous, so taking the necessary safety precautions, using the right snow removal tools, or hiring the right snow removal company can ensure your winter is memorable for all the right reasons. 

Miserable About Melting Snow? Contact PuroClean for Your Snow Removal Needs!

If you are looking for professional snow removal services during the winter months, PuroClean is an excellent choice. With years of experience in the business, our team can quickly and efficiently take care of any winter weather-related needs.

PuroClean has the knowledge and expertise to get the job done right, from shoveling sidewalks to plowing driveways. Our staff can always answer your questions or help you with any project. Don’t wait; hire PuroClean for your snow removal needs today! Please visit our online office locator or call (800) 775-7876 today to find your local PuroClean office. 

Last edited on 7th of December 2023