Roof Shoveling & Raking: What You Need To Know About Roof Snow & Ice Dams

Roof Raking & Shoveling, Ice Dams - how to handle in Maine

Well, Maine, it's that time of year again: winter. 

Winter in Maine means snowstorms, blizzards, and a wintery mix that won’t leave your roof until April. While it may look picturesque to have a few feet of snow piled on top of your house, the buildup of snow and ice on your roof can cause a lot of significant concerns. 

This time of year comes with many dangers for homeowners, and snow on your roof is one of them. To have a safe and enjoyable winter, here are a few things to remember when your roof is starting to take on snow. 

When you see snow piling up on your roof, your first instinct might be to go out, pull out your snow shovel, and start shoveling all the snow off your roof. But wait! We encourage you to keep reading before taking on this task.

Why does snow need to be removed from your roof?

First things first, if you’re the type to keep snow on your roof all season long, stop and consider this. Even six inches of accumulated snow can add hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds of weight on your roof. That would stress even the most well maintained roof.

Not only does the extra weight mean potential for roof leaks, but it could even cause your roof to collapse. To be safe, snow should be removed often from your roof.

A little roof snow is OK

While it may sound counterintuitive after we just told you that roof snow needs to be removed, a light layer of snow on your roof can actually help keep your home warmer.

Since the snow acts as an extra layer of insulation, it could potentially reduce your winter heating bills.

That said, if you start to see snow melting and forming icicles or ice buildup around the edges of the roof, it’s time to get some help. 

Call in the professionals

Before you take on the task of climbing up onto your snow and ice covered roof to shovel off the snow, think about hiring a professional. 

Snow and ice are that much more slippery on an inclined surface, and you don’t want to risk falling off your roof. Instead, ask your current plow company if they offer roof snow removal.

Try roof raking

If you’re a DIYer and don’t want to hire a company to remove roof snow for you, invest in a roof rake.

With this simple tool, you’ll be able to stand on the ground and pull snow off the roof. You won’t need to climb or stand on high ladders and risk a fall.

While you likely won’t be able to remove all the snow on your roof with a rake, you can remove a great deal of the weight and prolong the need for a full shoveling to remove all the snow. What’s more: roof raking will eliminate potential ice dams from forming.

Ice dams are another real concern

Melting snow on your roof is caused by either 1) the heat from the sun, or 2) heat escaping from your home. When snow melts and refreezes around the edge of the roof or into icicles along the roof’s edge, it’s time to take things seriously.

Ice dams are caused when ice forms along the overhang and gutters of your home. Not only can ice dams damage and destroy your gutters, but they can also cause water to back up and leak into your home through the overhang, shingles, or any cracks or crevices the water can find.

Again, if you notice ice dams around your house, consult with a professional to get help removing the dams before they cause damage to your home.

Keeping your roof clear of ice and snow this winter will help your roof last longer and safer for the whole family.
For help in the greater Buxton, Maine area with your roof shoveling and ice dam needs, contact us at Prime Cut Landscaping & Lawn Care today!

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