9 Roof Snow Removal Methods for Heavy Snowfall

As the snow blankets our roofs, it becomes a heavy burden, weighing down upon us like an unwanted guest.

But fear not, for there are 9 roof snow removal methods that can come to our rescue. From shoveling to roof shaking, each method offers its own unique approach to tackle the challenge.

But which method is the most effective? Which one will save us from the impending disaster?

Join us as we navigate through these methods, exploring their pros and cons, and discover the secret to conquering heavy snowfall.


snowy winter driveway cleaning

When it comes to removing snow from your roof, one effective method is shoveling. Shoveling is a traditional and widely used technique for clearing snow from roofs. It involves the manual removal of snow using a shovel or snow pusher. While shoveling requires physical effort, it can be an efficient and cost-effective option for homeowners.

However, it's important to note that shoveling can be physically demanding and potentially dangerous if not done correctly. To minimize the risk of injury, it's essential to use proper ergonomic shoveling techniques. These techniques include bending at the knees and using the legs to lift the snow, rather than straining the back. It's also crucial to take frequent breaks and avoid overexertion.

For those who prefer shoveling alternatives, there are a few options to consider. Snow rakes, for example, can be used to remove snow from the roof while standing on the ground. These long-handled tools allow you to reach and pull the snow off the roof without having to climb up.

Another alternative is using a roof-mounted snow removal system, such as heated cables or roof rakes with rollers. These systems help prevent the accumulation of snow on the roof, reducing the need for manual snow removal.

Snow Raking

removing snow from rooftops

Now let's talk about snow raking.

Snow raking is an effective method to remove snow from your roof and prevent potential damage.

In this section, we'll discuss the different types of snow rakes available, proper techniques for snow raking, and important safety precautions to keep in mind.

Types of Snow Rakes

There are several types of snow rakes available for efficiently removing snow from roofs. These tools are designed to help homeowners and professionals safely clear snow buildup and prevent potential damage to the structure.

Here are four common types of snow rakes:

  • Telescoping Snow Rake: This type of rake features an adjustable handle that can extend to reach higher areas of the roof.
  • Roof Rake with Slide: Equipped with a slide attachment, this rake allows you to easily push snow off the roof instead of manually lifting it.
  • Avalanche Snow Rake: Designed for heavy snowfall, this rake has a sliding frame that helps remove large amounts of snow with minimal effort.
  • Roof Rake with Wheels: This rake is equipped with wheels, making it easier to maneuver and reducing strain on your arms and back.

Using the right snow rake can make roof snow removal safer and more efficient, ensuring the protection of your property.

Proper Snow Raking Techniques

To ensure safe and efficient snow removal from your roof, it's crucial to employ proper snow raking techniques. First and foremost, using the proper snow raking equipment is essential. Look for a rake with a long handle, preferably one that extends to at least 20 feet, to reach the snow on your roof without having to climb up. Additionally, make sure the rake has a sturdy and wide head to effectively remove the snow.

When it comes to the actual raking process, there are some common snow raking mistakes to avoid. One of them is applying too much pressure while raking. This can damage your roof or even cause it to collapse under the weight of the snow. Instead, use gentle and steady strokes to remove the snow without putting unnecessary strain on your roof.

Another mistake is raking too much snow at once, which can also lead to damage. Instead, remove the snow in small sections, working your way down from the top of the roof.

Safety Precautions for Snow Raking

Are there any safety precautions that should be taken when snow raking? Absolutely. When it comes to roof snow removal, safety should always be the top priority. Here are some essential precautions to keep in mind:

  • Use proper snow removal equipment: Make sure to use a snow rake specifically designed for roof snow removal. These rakes are lightweight and have a long handle, allowing you to remove snow from the ground without having to climb onto the roof.
  • Wear protective gear: Wear a helmet, goggles, and gloves to protect yourself from falling snow and ice.
  • Watch out for overhead hazards: Be aware of any overhead hazards such as tree branches or power lines that may pose a risk while snow raking.
  • Clear the area: Before you start snow raking, clear the area of any obstacles or debris that could cause a trip or fall.

Roof Pushing

reinforcing a sagging roof

When it comes to roof pushing, there are several important points to consider.

First, it's crucial to use the proper shoveling technique to avoid causing damage to your roof.

Second, having the right roof raking tools can make the task much easier and safer.

Lastly, for those looking for a more long-term solution, investing in a snow melt system can help prevent snow accumulation on your roof altogether.

Shoveling Technique

Using a shoveling technique known as roof pushing, we can effectively remove snow from the roof. Here are some shoveling tips and snow shoveling techniques to ensure a safe and efficient process:

  • Start from the edge: Begin at the edge of the roof and work your way towards the center. This prevents the snow from falling onto already cleared areas.
  • Use a plastic shovel: Opt for a lightweight plastic shovel to minimize strain on your back and arms. Metal shovels can damage the roof surface.
  • Push, don't lift: Instead of lifting the snow, push it off the roof. This reduces the risk of injury and prevents the snow from accumulating further.
  • Clear ventilation areas: Pay special attention to vents and chimneys, ensuring they remain unobstructed to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.

Roof Raking Tools

To effectively remove snow from the roof, one option is to utilize roof raking tools, commonly referred to as roof pushing. Roof raking offers several benefits, including preventing ice dams, reducing the risk of roof collapse, and protecting against water damage. There are various types of roof raking equipment available in the market, each designed for different roof types and snow conditions. Here is a comparison table of some popular roof raking tools:

Tool Name Material Length (ft) Weight (lbs)
Snow Roof Rake Aluminum 16 5.5
Avalanche Polypropylene 17 4.5
Telescoping Rake Aluminum and Plastic 21 4.8
Roof Razor Aluminum and Steel 24 8.2

Each tool has its own advantages, so it's important to choose the one that best suits your needs and roof type. Remember to follow proper safety guidelines when using roof raking equipment to avoid injury.

Snow Melt Systems

As we move on to discussing snow melt systems, an effective method for roof pushing, it's important to consider the advantages and benefits they offer in comparison to roof raking tools. Snow melt systems provide a more efficient and convenient way to remove snow from roofs, especially in areas with heavy snowfall. Here are some key benefits of snow melt systems:

  • Efficient: Snow melt systems can quickly and evenly melt snow, preventing it from accumulating on the roof.
  • Reduced labor: With snow melt systems, there's no need for manual labor or physical effort to remove the snow.
  • Safety: By eliminating the need for climbing on the roof to clear snow, snow melt systems reduce the risk of accidents or injuries.
  • Long-term solution: Once installed, snow melt systems provide a continuous solution for snow removal, ensuring the roof stays clear throughout the winter season.

Snow melt installation involves the installation of heating elements, such as electric cables or hydronic systems, on the roof surface or under the shingles. These systems are designed to generate heat to melt the snow as it falls, preventing it from accumulating and causing structural damage to the roof.

Heat Cable Installation

installing heating cable system

We can install heat cables to effectively prevent snow accumulation on the roof. Heat cable installation offers several benefits, such as reducing the risk of roof damage due to excessive snow weight and preventing ice dams. By providing a constant source of heat, these cables melt the snow and ice on the roof, ensuring that it doesn't accumulate or freeze.

One of the primary benefits of heat cable installation is its ability to protect the roof from structural damage. Snow can be deceptively heavy, and when it accumulates on the roof, it can put a significant strain on the structure. This can lead to roof collapses or other forms of damage. However, by installing heat cables, we can prevent the snow from piling up, reducing the load on the roof and minimizing the risk of damage.

Another advantage of heat cable installation is its effectiveness in preventing ice dams. Ice dams occur when the snow on the roof melts and refreezes near the edges, forming a barrier that prevents water from draining properly. This can result in water seeping into the roof and causing leaks or other water damage. Heat cables melt the snow and ice, preventing the formation of ice dams and ensuring proper drainage.

When considering the cost of heat cable installation, it's important to weigh it against the potential expenses associated with roof repairs or replacements. The cost of installation can vary depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the roof, as well as the type of heat cable system chosen. However, investing in heat cable installation can ultimately save homeowners money by preventing costly roof damage.

Snow Blowing

clearing snow with machines

With snow accumulation effectively prevented through heat cable installation, another method to remove snow from the roof is through snow blowing. Snow blowing involves using specialized equipment to blow the snow off the roof, making it an efficient and time-saving solution.

Here are some key points to consider when it comes to snow blowing:

  • Snow blowing equipment: Snow blowers, also known as snow throwers, are the primary equipment used for snow blowing. They come in various sizes and types, including electric, gas-powered, and tractor-mounted models. It's important to choose the right equipment based on the size of your roof and the amount of snow you need to remove.
  • Snow blowing techniques: When using a snow blower, start by clearing the edges of the roof and working your way towards the center. This prevents snow from piling up and causing damage to the roof. It's important to keep the blower at a safe distance from the roof surface to avoid any potential damage.
  • Safety precautions: Before starting any snow blowing operation, make sure to read the manufacturer's instructions and follow all safety guidelines. Wear appropriate protective gear, such as goggles and gloves, to protect yourself from flying debris. Additionally, be cautious of any overhead power lines or obstructions that may pose a hazard while operating the equipment.
  • Professional assistance: If you're unsure about using snow blowing equipment or if you have a large or complex roof, it's advisable to seek professional assistance. Experienced roofers or snow removal services can safely and efficiently remove snow from your roof, ensuring no damage is done to the structure.

Ice Melt

accelerating ice melt rates

Ice melt is a crucial method for removing ice from the roof and preventing potential damage. When dealing with heavy snowfall, ice dams can form on the roof, leading to water leakage and structural problems. Using ice melt alternatives is an effective way to prevent ice dams and protect your roof.

Here is a table comparing different ice melt alternatives:

Ice Melt Alternatives Pros Cons
Calcium Chloride Melts ice quickly Can damage plants and corrode metal
Magnesium Chloride Effective in extreme cold temperatures Can leave a residue and discolor surfaces
Rock Salt Affordable and widely available Can damage concrete and metal surfaces
Potassium Chloride Environmentally friendly Slower melting time compared to other alternatives
Urea Safe for pets and vegetation Less effective in extremely low temperatures

When using ice melt, it is essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions and use the appropriate amount. Applying too much ice melt can be harmful to the roof and surrounding areas. Additionally, it is important to consider the environmental impact of the chosen ice melt alternative.

Preventing ice dams is crucial to avoid water damage and structural issues. Alongside using ice melt, here are some additional tips to prevent ice dams:

  1. Ensure proper insulation and ventilation in the attic to regulate roof temperature.
  2. Clear snow from the roof after a snowfall using a roof rake or snow shovel.
  3. Install heat cables along the roof edges to melt ice and prevent ice dam formation.
  4. Seal any gaps or cracks in the roof to prevent warm air leakage.

Roof Steaming

removing ice from rooftops

Roof steaming is a highly effective method for removing snow and ice buildup from the roof surface. This technique involves using steam to melt the snow and ice, allowing it to safely slide off the roof.

Here are four reasons why roof steaming is a preferred method for roof thawing and snow removal:

  • Safe and gentle: Steam cleaning is a non-destructive method that doesn't cause any damage to the roof surface. The high temperature of the steam melts the snow and ice without the need for scraping or shoveling, minimizing the risk of roof damage.
  • Efficient and fast: Steam is a powerful tool for roof thawing as it quickly melts the snow and ice, allowing for swift removal. The heat from the steam penetrates deep into the snow, causing it to melt rapidly and easily slide off the roof, saving both time and effort.
  • Environmentally friendly: Roof steaming is an eco-friendly option for snow removal. It doesn't involve the use of chemicals or salt, which can have detrimental effects on the environment and surrounding vegetation. Steam cleaning ensures a clean and safe process that doesn't harm the ecosystem.
  • Prevents ice dams: Ice dams are a common problem during winter, leading to water leaks and potential roof damage. Roof steaming effectively eliminates the source of ice dams by melting the snow and ice on the roof. By removing the accumulated snow, roof steaming prevents the formation of ice dams and safeguards the integrity of the roof.

Roof Shaking

vibrating roof during earthquake

Roof shaking is an effective method for quickly and safely removing accumulated snow and ice from the roof surface. This technique involves physically shaking the roof to dislodge the snow and ice, allowing it to slide off. Roof shaking can be done using various tools, such as roof rakes, roof brushes, or by tapping the roof with a long pole.

One common method of roof shaking is roof tapping. This involves gently tapping the roof with a long pole or broom handle to loosen the snow and ice. By tapping the roof at strategic points, the vibrations can help dislodge the accumulated snow, causing it to slide off the roof. It's important to use caution and not apply excessive force, as this can damage the roof.

Another method of roof shaking is roof brushing. This involves using a roof brush with stiff bristles to sweep the snow and ice off the roof. By brushing the surface of the roof, the bristles can loosen the snow and ice, allowing it to be easily removed. It's essential to use a brush specifically designed for roof use to minimize the risk of damaging the roof's surface.

When performing roof shaking, it's crucial to prioritize safety. It's recommended to wear appropriate protective gear, such as a helmet and non-slip shoes, to prevent accidents. Additionally, it's important to be cautious of falling snow and ice, as they can pose a hazard to both the person performing the roof shaking and those nearby.

Professional Snow Removal Services

efficient snow removal experts

After exploring effective roof snow removal methods such as roof shaking, it's important to consider the benefits and advantages of hiring professional snow removal services. When it comes to removing heavy snowfall from your roof, professional snow plowing can be a smart choice. Here are some reasons why:

  • Expertise: Professional snow removal services have the knowledge and experience to safely and efficiently remove snow from roofs. They understand the risks involved and have the necessary equipment to handle the job effectively.
  • Time-saving: Hiring professionals means you don't have to spend hours trying to remove the snow yourself. They'll come equipped with the right tools and manpower to get the job done quickly, allowing you to focus on other important tasks.
  • Safety: Removing snow from a roof can be dangerous, especially if you don't have the proper training or equipment. Professionals are trained to work at heights and have the necessary safety measures in place to prevent accidents.
  • Cost-effective: While there's a cost associated with hiring professional snow removal services, it can actually save you money in the long run. They can help prevent damage to your roof and other areas of your property, potentially saving you from costly repairs.

When considering professional snow plowing services, it's important to also factor in the snow removal cost. The cost can vary depending on factors such as the size of your roof, the amount of snow, and the location of your property. It's recommended to get quotes from different companies to compare prices and choose the one that offers the best value for your money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Regular Shovel to Remove Snow From My Roof?

Yes, we can use a regular shovel to remove snow from our roof. However, it isn't the most recommended method for roof snow removal. Using a regular shovel can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and potentially damaging to the roof.

It's best to use specialized tools or hire professionals for roof snow removal to ensure safety and prevent any roof maintenance issues.

How Long Does It Typically Take to Remove Snow From a Roof Using the Snow Raking Method?

We find that the time it takes to remove snow from a roof using the snow raking method can vary depending on several factors. These include the size of the roof, the amount of snow, and the efficiency of the roof snow removal tools being used.

Snow raking can be a relatively quick and effective method for removing snow from a roof, but it's important to consider the pros and cons before deciding on this method.

Is It Safe to Use a Heat Cable to Melt Snow on a Metal Roof?

Using a heat cable to melt snow on a metal roof has its pros and cons. On the positive side, it can effectively remove snow and prevent ice dam formation. However, there are some drawbacks to consider.

Heat cables can be expensive to install and operate, and they may not be as efficient as other snow removal methods. Additionally, if not installed correctly, they can cause damage to the roof.

It's important to weigh these factors before deciding on a snow removal method for your metal roof.

Can a Roof Pushing Method Cause Any Damage to the Roof Structure?

Using a roof pushing method for snow removal can potentially cause damage to the roof structure. It's important to consider alternative snow removal methods that are safer and more effective.

There are various roof snow removal tools available, such as snow rakes and roof shovels, that can help remove snow without causing harm to the roof. These tools allow for a controlled and gradual removal process, minimizing the risk of structural damage.

What Is the Average Cost of Hiring a Professional Snow Removal Service for a Residential Property?

On average, hiring a professional snow removal service for a residential property can cost around $300 to $500. It's important to consider factors like the size of the property and the amount of snowfall when determining the cost.

At our company, we provide reliable and efficient snow removal services for residential properties at an affordable price. Our experienced team ensures that your property is cleared of snow safely and effectively, giving you peace of mind during heavy snowfall.

© All rights reserved by Universal Roofs

Sitemap, Privacy Policy

Pay your bill securely with Paypal here

Read reviews for high-quality replacement roofing and asphalt shingles:

5 ★★★★★

5 out of 5 stars (based on 500+ reviews)