clock February 5, 2015 comments 4 Comments flowchart Family & Home CareHomeowners InsuranceOur Blog tag Cumberland RILincoln RIProperty MaintenanceProvidence RIWeather

In the past 10 days, Providence RI has received a total of 28.3 inches of snow. Towns in Northern Rhode Island such as Cumberland and Lincoln have received even higher totals. After record breaking snowfall and even more forecasted, it is time to consider removing roof snow to prevent ice dams from damaging your home or business.

The key to preventing ice dams is to remove the first three to four feet of snow from the edge of your roof near the eaves. This allows any melting snow to freely melt as opposed to being trapped and backing up under your shingles and into your home, causing water damage.  You can also watch for overall snow accumulation on your roof. If there are areas where accumulation settles or you see snow drifts, try to clear what you can to lessen the weight load on your roof.

How do I remove roof snow when it’s far too deep for me to climb on the roof, you ask?  Here are some tips for safely removing snow from roof coverings at your home or business:

Use a Roof Rake 

If you have a pitched roof you can remove snow with the use of a roof rake.  A roof rake is a long-handled tool specifically designed to remove snow from the roof without damaging the shingles.  Stand from the ground, porch, or deck using caution not to slip on ice.  Use the rake to pull snow off the first 3-4 feet of your roof’s edge. roofrake

Flat Roofs Can Be Shoveled 

If you have a flat roof that can be accessed via an inside staircase, you can shovel the roof. Use extreme caution since the roof will be icy. Also, be careful not to scrape, loosen, or damage the roof covering.  It might seem obvious, but it needs to be said… Never use a ladder to reach a snow covered roof!

 Hire a Roofing Contractor 

In winter months most roofing contractors will remove snow from your roof. Leave it to the professionals if your roof has to be accessed by a ladder or if your roof is more than two stories high. Be sure to ask your contractor for a certificate of insurance to show that he is properly insured in the event he causes damage to your home or a worker is injured.

Clear Snow From Vents

Lastly, while you are out there removing snow from your roof, be sure to check snow accumulation near heat exhaust vents and dryer vents.  All heat vents and dryer vents outside your home should be free and clear from snow to avoid risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

After working hard to remove the snow from your property its time to grab a hot chocolate, relax, and enjoy Mother Nature’s reminder of why we love New England! 

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It’s important to remove snow from the roof. The house isn’t really meant to be able to carry the weight of the heavy snow. It’s better if you can just scrape the snow off in whatever way is safest.

Wendy Cartright

This is great advice for safely removing snow from the roof. I don’t know if I would be able to use a roof rake for removing snow on my roof. The snow is usually very wet so it turns to ice quickly. I think hiring a roof contractor might be the safest for me. Thanks for sharing!

Andy Harrison

The way my roof is, the only way to it is with a ladder. I’ll probably stick to what you said and go with a contractor. That way, I don’t run the risk of hurting myself or damaging my roof.

Andre Beluchi

Some safety tips on how to remove snow are what my son might need to learn about. I’ve seen him go up his roof shoveling the snow from there. Seeing that had me scream at him because of how unsafe it was for him to do that.


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