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Safely removing snow from your home's roof.

Light, fluffy snowfall can dust a home and make it look beautiful. But when New York experiences more than twelve inches of snow, and accumulation gets weighty on your rooftop, you can avoid roof damage by removing some of the snow—from the safety of the ground. 

While you may be an adventurous “do it yourselfer,” we don’t recommend climbing on your roof, particularly when there is snow or ice on it. And don’t climb a ladder to remove snow. The safest way to get snow off your roof is with two feet on the ground.

Precautions to Take When Removing Snow from Your Roof

1. Your safety is top priority.

Leave your ladder in your garage and keep your feet on the ground. If snow removal from your roof takes more than what you can do from the ground, hire a professional to do it for you. It’s dangerous enough when people climb ladders and get on their roof without a slippery wintery mix on it; there’s no reason to get on your roof with snow and ice on it. As you work from the ground, be careful to have sure footing as you remove the snow. 

2.  Don’t harm your roof with harsh chemicals or by using the wrong tools. 

You could end up creating roof leaks by using the wrong tool in your attempt to remove a wintery mix from your roof. Don’t try to use an ice pick or other sharp tools from your garage to get snow off your roof. They may dangerously conduct electricity if they come into contact with a power line. Additionally, avoid the idea of using strong chemicals to remove snow. 

3. Invest in a good roof rake.

The best way to get snow off your roof is by using a roof rake from the safety of the ground. Get a non-metal roof rake with an extension pole. Create a path around your house so you can work safely. Work with small amounts of snow at a time. Start with the area closest to you and work upward from there. Avoid the idea of creating a huge pile of snow on your roof and pulling it all down at once. Work from the roof edge inward little by little. If you have a gabled roof, it may work best to start at the roof ridge and slowly inch your way toward the eaves. 

4. Don’t try to apply heat to eliminate snow from your roof. 

Skip the idea of using a hair dryer, heat gun, torch, or a portable heater to remove snow and ice. Those types of devices weren’t made to remove snow from your roof and can cause fires when misused. They could cause snow to collapse too quickly, creating a dangerous situation. As mentioned above, stick with the roof rake from the safety of the ground.

5. Beware of falling icicles. 

If your gutters or roof eaves have icicles hanging from them, be careful not to walk under them where you could be hit by a falling one. When they snap off, injury is possible, so steer clear. 

6. Don’t scrape all the snow off your roof. 

Trying to remove snow down to your asphalt shingles could damage your roof and lead to leaks, early aging of your home’s protective layer, or structural damage. Leave at least an inch of snow on your roof as you relieve it of some of the weight of a heavy, New York snow. 

7. Know the signs that the weight of snow is too much for your roof. 

FEMA suggests awareness of the following signs that the snow’s weight is too much: Sagging ceiling tiles; creaking noises; sagging roof; windows that are stuck open or closed; cracks in your walls or masonry; ice dams; and severe roof leaks. 

Learn Valuable Tips From the Pros

As you can see, snow removal is not for the faint of heart! Hypothermia, frostbite, and cardiac arrest are all risks people take when they set out to remove the snow from their roof. Take it from our professional crew—it may be best to just hire a team of experts to do it for you while you sip hot chocolate indoors.

At Giant Siding & Windows, we have been family owned and operated for three generations, so we’ll be here when you need a new roof. Take a moment to learn more about our premium roofing services.