Removing snow from your roof

Snow-covered roofs can make for a picturesque scene, but the weight of the snow can cause problems. The combination of freshly fallen snow and the melting and refreezing of snow can add to the stress on your roof.
 
Clearing the first three to four feet of snow closest to the gutters or eave of your roof after each winter storm can help prevent ice dams from forming.

  • If you have a flat roof that is easily reached from an interior stairway, you may want to shovel the roof, but be careful not to damage the roof covering. When de-icing, remember to put safety first any time you are on a roof, especially one that is covered in snow and ice. If you have any doubt, leave it to the professionals.
  • If you have a sloped roof, it may be possible to remove the snow and ice using a roof rake – a long-handled tool designed specifically for this purpose. Stand on the ground and pull as much of the snow off the eaves as you can safely reach.
  • If you cannot reach the roof, many homebuilders, landscaping and roofing contractors, and property maintenance companies will remove snow and ice from roofs. Before hiring a contractor, Travelers encourages you to check references. Always be sure your contractor is insured and bonded.


While the amount of snow and ice that your roof can handle may vary depending on a number of factors such as the roof type, age and condition of the structure, a good rule of thumb is if there is more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice on your roof, you should try to have it removed. We do not recommend using a ladder in snowy and icy conditions. This can be extremely dangerous and is best left to professionals.
 
Besides the danger of having snow on your roof, ice dams can also cause damage unless steps are taken to help protect your home.

Winter weather is here

Winter weather is here

Pat Gee, SVP in Claim, talks with The Weather Channel about tips to help avoid winter problems at home.

Watch the video now >
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