How to Remove Snow and Ice from your Roof Safely

Rooftop snow and ice removal is crucially important during the winter months. While it is strongly recommended that you hire a professional roofer in London or locally to you for this purpose, you may prefer to get the job done yourself. If this is the route you choose to take, it is essential that you do it safely and follow some very specific guidelines…

One cubic foot of dry snow weighs seven pounds; the same amount wet can weigh more than double this. Ontario roofs are generally designed to withstand excess snow; however there is still great potential for snow and ice to cause significant rooftop damage. Those most at risk are large, flat rooftops.

Some Do’s and Don’ts of Rooftop Snow Removal

DO get someone to help you – or at least to be present while you undertake this job. They should keep others away from the area where snow and ice will be falling. Be particularly careful of falling icicles – these can be lethal to those under them.

NEVER add your own weight to the rooftop.

ALWAYS be aware of vent pipes and skylights which may be hidden by snow.

ALWAYS use a roof fall arrest harness when working on a rooftop. Ladders are dangerous in winter conditions as they can slip and ice can form on rungs and shoes.

DON’T use mechanical equipment to remove snow from a rooftop – it can cause damage to your roof.

DO use a snow rake to remove snow from a pitched rooftop.

NEVER stockpile snow on the rooftop. Shovel snow over the side of the roof and away from the house, using a plastic shovel, and make sure to keep snow on the ground away from downspouts, ventilation openings, exits, fire escapes, and equipment of any kind.

DO start from the edge of the roof and work your way up, removing snow from the eaves first and the ridges last. Remove snow drifts around equipment, at parapets, and where building elevation changes before you attempt to remove packed snow.

DON’T try to scrape the rooftop entirely clean of snow. Doing so may cause damage to your shingles and lead to leaks. Instead, aim to shave the snow on your rooftop down to depth of at least a couple of inches (or five centimetres).

DO make sure to keep drains and gutters free of snow and ice. At ground level, all downspouts must be kept clean and clear.

NEVER use a metal tool on your rooftop, such as a shovel or pick. Not only will it cause damage, it is an electrical hazard with power lines etc.

DON’T attempt to soften or melt snow or ice with a heat gun, hair dryer, or any other electrical or open flame device.

DO be prepared for packed snow to slide in large quantities. Make sure you and others are well out of range of this.

It can’t be understated how strongly advisable it is to have a professional roofer in London or locally to you come to remove snow and ice from your roof safely. They have the training, experience, and tools (not to mention insurance!) to properly and safely remove snow and ice from your rooftop. It’s worth the investment.

Contact us today for help safely clearing your roof.

Sorry, we're not accepting inquiries at this time.