Snow Blowers


Flat Roof Snow Removal

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Flat Roof Snow RemovalWhether you have a sloped roof or a flat roof, removing snow from your roof can be a big job if the snow gets too deep. The snow is almost four feet deep on this man’s roof shown in the picture which puts a pretty heavy load on the roof of his home. New snow that has fallen is generally not too heavy and can be supported by most roofs. The trouble comes when you have a weak roof to begin with or there is a thaw and/ or rain in the winter time and now the snow is soaked with water which, can more than double the weight. This is when roofs cave in causing thousands in dollars of damage. If your roof has a lot of snow on it, get out there and shovel off the snow or arrange for a contractor to remove the snow.

Flat Roof Snow Removal – Which Roofs are Prone to a Lot of Snow

Roofs with a slope that would be considered gentle or flat roofs will routinely capture a lot of snow on them especially when there is little or no wind. A high wind is going to blow the snow off of the roof and avoid it building up. Snow falls that are heavy with little or no wind will see a lot of snow building up on a roof. If your roof has a gentle slope or is a flat roof, you can count on having to shovel snow off the roof at least once or twice during the winter.

Shoveling snow off of a roof, especially one that is sloped can be very dangerous. The snow makes the roof slippery and with all of the snow, you can also sometimes lose sight of where the edge of the roof is. This can even happen with a flat roof when there is a lot of snow to move off of the roof.

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Some consumers will use what is called a snow rake. This is a shovel that is turned on its end and attached to a long pole. It allows the user to stand on the ground and use the snow rake to pull the snow off of the roof while standing on the ground. This is a much safer solution for many people to use than getting up on the roof and risking a slide off onto the ground.

Flat Roof Snow Removal – Snow and Rain Combine to Weigh Heavily on a Roof

This is the most dangerous time for a roof with a heavy snow load. If it rains during a winter thaw onto a roof that is already thick with snow, the water just builds up in the snow and then freezes. This excess weight can sometimes be the cause of many failed roofs because they are just not built to support this kind of weight.

If you suspect that your roof could be exposed to a heavy snow load, hire someone to remove the snow. Why wait and take the chance that you will have too much snow and a roof that caves in?

Can Removing Snow Damage my Flat Roof

If you are not careful, a roof can be damaged while removing snow. The shingles are brittle due to the cold, the tar on the flat roof is also brittle and your shovel could break through the shingles or the tarred roof which may be unnoticed until such time that everything begins to melt. At this point you have a leak and major damage from water entering through the damaged roof.

Shingles can be broken and flat roofs seams weakened simply from walking across the roof during a cold stretch. This is a difficult situation, since if you do nothing you risk a cave in and if you shovel the roof off, your risk creating damage to the roof. If at all possible avoid going on the roof and use a snow rake to remove as much snow as you can. Even if you can only remove 30%, that is 30% less weight that is no longer on the roof. In addition as the weather warms and the snow begins to melt the water has somewhere to go by running off of the roof in the area were you have used the snow rake to remove snow.

If in doubt have an expert look at your roof and arrange to have the snow removed from your roof. For more topics about snow removal, click here.

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One Response to “Flat Roof Snow Removal”

  1. I have a roof like this one and every year I have to remove snow from it to avoid any problems. my biggest worry is an ice dam forming and water leaking into the house

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