Citizens of the northeast face the common issue of increasing snow loads during the winter. Most people assume you can use a standard snow shovel to clear the snow from your roof. This is an issue as it is unsafe for two reasons. First, it forces you to climb onto your snowy, slippery roof. Also, a snow shovel is the last tool you should be using on your roof as it can seriously damage your shingles and flashing. The bottom-line of using a roof shovel is it is exceedingly dangerous. Every year, areas of the north receive excessive snowfall which leads homeowners to venture onto their roofs to clear the potentially deadly snow load. More and more often, cities and towns are recommending against this due to the dangers it poses. For example, the city of Boston advises homeowners to hire professionals to accomplish this task.
Dangers of Using a Roof Shovel
While it may seem like an easy task, shoveling your roof can be dangerous due to roof pitch and height. Roofs are dangerous to climb onto during perfect weather, adding in snow and ice severely increases slip and fall risk. The higher the pitch of the roof, the easier it is to lose footing. These roofs often hold less snow weight. On the other hand, flat roofs are at the highest risk of collapse due to snow load; however, their height should discourage any homeowner from climbing up to shovel. Fall damage is the biggest issue regarding using a roof snow shovel, and should be the leading reason why you call a professional. Professionals have the proper safety measures in place to prevent falls, and also utilize specialized tools to aid in snow removal.
How Roof Snow Shovels Can Damage Your Roof
Most snow shovels are all metal or contain metal blades at the end to cut through snow and ice. This works wonders on your deck or walkway but can cause long term issues to your roof and shingles. Using a roof shovel can break and crack shingles. This leads to the possibility of water seeping into your roof deck. Shingles are meant to shed water to the ground, and cannot do that properly when cracked or broken. At the same time, introducing water to your roof deck and attic spaces increases the possibility of mold. Mold and rot within a roof deck can lead to serious strength issues over the long term. Also, flashing can be torn off and shingles can lose granules. Both of these again open your roof to the possibility of water damage. As a whole, roof snow shovels can negatively impact how your roof sheds water, allowing for unwanted and unwelcomed water and weather to enter into your home.
Shoveling your roof should be left to professionals who know the best practices in removing snow and ice. Professionals will ensure snow is properly removed while also being mindful of landscaping below and various important parts of your roof. Ranch Roofing is open year round to help with your winter roofing needs, for more, contact us.