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When is the Right Time to Remove Snow from My Roof?

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Cooler temperatures, long nights, bright lights, and a whole lot of cheesy, cheery, music are filling up the stores yet again. Yep, the holidays are in full swing, and if you’re officially caught up in the hustle and bustle of gift shopping, family gatherings, and tree cutting, you’re in good company. With all of the season’s excitement, it can be difficult to find the time to keep the household running smoothly (and we’re not just talking about the indoors). It’s prudent to remain just as up-to-date on all of your outdoor winter home care, including snow removal tasks that help to avoid potential damage and make your home function easier across the board.

While we often tend to think of snow removal in terms of our driveways and sidewalks, what about our roofs? Is it important to remove snow from the roof, and if so, when is the right time to do so? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, now is the perfect time to learn. Let’s talk about winter roof care, and how to execute it safely and effectively.

Is Snow Bad for Your Roof?

Before we talk about removing snow from your roof, let’s first establish if it’s even a necessary task to worry about in the first place. The short answer? Yes, there are circumstances when you should consider removing snow from your roof. Now for the long answer, which is a bit more complicated. 

Year after year, many of us sit idly by while our roof collects snow. Let’s be clear, in a lot of cases, snow on the roof is a good sign as it means your roof is doing its job! Did you know there are a few benefits that accompany some mild snow buildup on the roof? For instance, a light layer of snow has insulative properties, helping to potentially lower your heating bill. While we tend to regard snow that sticks around as pesky, if you have a small layer on your roof that’s outlasting all of your neighbors, there’s a good chance your insulation is in good shape.

It is a good idea to keep an eye on your roof throughout the winter season, because too much of a good thing can quickly turn insidious, yielding potential lasting consequences. When deciding whether or not the snow needs to be removed, you’ll want to assess just how much of it there is. We refer to this as the snow load. While there are technically formulas and equations that you can use by plugging in certain data and measurements, let’s face it, unless you’re a professional, it’s usually not safe to try and gather a bunch of data while walking around on a snowy, icy, roof.  

Some definite telltale signs can help you decide whether or not removal is necessary and don’t require any dangerous actions or exertions.

Telltale Signs that It Might be Time to Remove Your Roof’s Snow

Snow isn’t the only substance that accumulates on your roof over time. Hanging icicles and ice buildup can also quickly become dangerous, especially when combined with excess snow. Given its heavier nature, ice can be hard on your roof when left to sit and fester. Ice can also be a sign of greater roof issues, as ice tends to create “ice damns” which are caused by the process of it melting and refreezing during the winter. The refreezing of water and the damming effect that it creates can damage your roof, and thus, potentially your interior. 

It’s usually easy enough to spot if water damage is already present. You may see obvious water spots on your ceiling and/or cracks in the drywall. If your roof is pushing down on your home’s structure, due to a major snow load, it can cause your walls to seize and warp. You can also use your center-of-the-house doors to provide context clues as to the overall health of your home. If the door doesn’t stick or jam in any capacity before snowfall, but does so after snow has accumulated, you have an issue. 

Finally, heavy snow accumulation can cause your home to sag which often manifests visually in warped or broken rafters. Keep in mind that older homes are generally more susceptible to buckling under snow, this is because they are built with older materials and either outdated or less effective construction standards. It’s important to factor in the characteristics of your house to conduct a fuller analysis.

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When is the Right Time to Remove Snow?

And so finally, we’re ready to answer the main question of the post, when is the right time to remove snow on the roof? In certain circumstances, it can be hard to wait for the ideal time because you might need to carefully and quickly take action. If you’re seeing any of the aforementioned signs, we outlined earlier in the blog such as sagging, buckling, or the presence of water spots, the right time is ASAP. However, if you’re not seeing anything immediately alarming, you don’t necessarily need to take instant action. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that it’s a bad idea to be cautious. Generally speaking, if your roof is holding onto 12 inches of snow or more for prolonged periods, consider removing it. 

Removal: Safe to Do It Yourself or Should You Enlist a Pro?

Walking on one’s roof is typically a dangerous task, even in the best of circumstances. Add in potential ice structures, ice dams, icicles, and snow, and you’re looking at a situation that’s probably best tackled by a professional. While you’ll end up having to pay for this service, your safety is the trade-off and your safety is ultimately priceless. Falling from the roof is extremely dangerous, and when you add in all of the other aspects, it becomes infinitely more so. Bottom line? Unless you have experience, do not attempt to remove snow. Rather, enlist a team you trust like CT and MA Roofing to take care of it on your behalf. Not only can they execute the task at hand, but they can also alert you to any underlying damage that’s been camouflaged by the snow and ice! 

Bottom line? The best way to take care of your roof during the winter season is to stay alert, routinely check for indications of damage, and call in the pros when/if you need assistance removing snow. 

If you have any other questions about roof snow removal, roofing services, and roof maintenance or repairs, be sure to contact LA Roofing, your trusted Connecticut and Massachusetts local roofing contractor. Your reputable Connecticut and Massachusetts Roofing Company will be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have. So don’t wait – take action today to protect your home and increase the longevity of your roof.

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