Preventing Ice Build Up & Collapse

With the winter months upon us, removing snow from our roofs can help eliminate ice back up losses and collapse issues.  Here are a few tips when removing snow from a roof:


  • Use a snow rake to clear your roof when possible.
  • Know where the electrical lines are and stay well clear of them with the rake.
  • If you must get on the roof, move cautiously with the use of a safety harness on steeper slopes to prevent falls.
  • Place ladders on a secure footing.
  • Consider working with a partner who remains on the ground when removing snow from a pitched roof. 
  • Always shovel down the roof.  Shoveling upward can cause shingle damage.
  • Leave 2" to 3" of snow on the roof to eliminate shingle damage.
  • Removing snow from at least the bottom 4' of the slope and around valleys will help eliminate ice back up. 
  • Stay hydrated and know your limits to prevent back injuries.

If the structure is showing signs of damage due to snow build up, call a qualified contractor to help remove the snow and stabilize the structure.  Watch for signs of cracked ceilings, broken rafters, stressed or cracked windows and doors.  Your local code enforcement officer can also assist to determine if the structure is fatigued from snow load and what precautions are recommended.  Pay close attention to the snow levels on a flat roof, as the depth can be deceiving from the ground view.  Windswept snow can overload sections of the roof system resulting in a uneven snow load and possible roof problems.


When assistance is needed to remove snow from a roof, local professional roofing contractors often offer snow removal services for a fee.  Please remember, the best alternative to prevent ice backup and snow load issues is to shovel your roof consistently throughout the winter months.