The Window Chick Blog

How to Remove Snow from  Rooftops Safely

Posted by Susan Ring

In 2015, New England was pounded by snow. The buildup caused hundreds of roofs to collapse, resulting thousands of dollars in damage, not to mention injuries. Removing snow from a roof can be very dangerous not only to the people involved, but to the roof structure as well.

Worker on Roof

We all know the snow is coming, like it does every winter. But sometimes we’re still caught off guard when it arrives. We’re not prepared for the huge amount Mother Nature can bring, and the arduous cleanup.

These simple tips can help you get your rooftop ready for the snow so you’re not knee-deep in problems.

Know Your Roof: A roof must meet building code requirements as far as how much weight it can hold. So it’s really about the weight of the snow, not the volume. Most roofs can support 20 lbs./sq. ft. of snow. Wet snow might be great for packing snowballs, but it’s over 5 times heavier than the same volume of dry snow. It’s never too early to find out how much weight your roof can support.


Inspect & Assess: Before the winter comes, inspect your roof for any signs of damage or weakness. You can also examine the interior for signs of vulnerability. Sagging ceiling tiles, windows and doors that jam, cracks in the walls, leaks, and out of place sprinkler lines can all be signs that a roof is stressed and compromised. Contact Us to set up a roof inspection. 

Look Out Below: Before removing snow and ice, be sure to consider what’s down below. What will that heavy snow land on? A public sidewalk? Busy entrance? Your egress back inside? This pre-planning can save you lots of headaches.

The Right Tools: Some people remove excess snow from their roofs with a long extension rake. It’s best, however, to hire a professional to do the removal. The roof can be very icy, slippery, and the snow can hide vulnerable areas such as skylights.

Don’t risk it yourself. Contact Us for roof inspections, fall safety equipment, and snow removal.

Learn More About Building Safety


Topics: fall protection, protection, shoveling, winter

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