How to Remove Snow from Roof: Comprehensive Guide

It is very exciting when the first snowfall begins, but the excitement doesn’t last long when reality hits in. By that, I mean when the snow piles up on your roof. Its weight can cause damage to your house.

If you live in a place where snowfall is a daily occurrence, removing snow should be your primary concern.

For this reason, I’m going to teach you how to remove snow from roof with different techniques.

Let’s get the show on the road! 

How Will You Know That You are Unguarded?

This is a very important question you need to ask yourself during winter. The first thing you should check is the doors located at the center of your house. The weight of the snow builds pressure against the structure, including your door frames. As a result, you will hear a creaking sound from the doors due to the stress.

Consequently, it is a sign that you need to clear the snow on the roof as soon as possible. The roof design is another thing that should be noted. For instance, a flat roof is more susceptible to collapse than the roof that has sloped edges. You can't measure the exact amount of snow, but it can be more than it is visible.

Some houses have a risk of developing ice dams, which means a lot of trouble. This is a serious issue as the melted snow can leak into the building and make your house vulnerable. For this reason, you should clear the snow at the right time before it brings a lot of problems.

Some Factors to Consider When Clearing the Snow

You need to keep some things in mind for safety when you decide to remove snow from your roof. They are mentioned as follows:

  • One of the important factors to determine the amount of snow is its height, not the depth of the snow. You will also be surprised to hear the fact that wet snow weighs more than dry snow. In other words, one pound of heavy wet snow can weigh 21 pounds per square foot.
  • Fluctuating temperatures between the house and its outer surroundings are the main reason why ice dams are formed. It is very common in houses with radiators and heat cables.
  • Buildings with a flat roof are often exposed to an awful lot of snow. Furthermore, the accumulated snow can’t disperse its weight compared to the snow on the sloped ones.
  • You should be more careful when you are removing any amount of snow that exceeds more than 18 inches.

Choose Efficient Tools

A snow rake is the most simple and cheapest tool you can use to clear the snow from your roof. On the other hand, sometimes you need to use a ladder and a shovel in case of a flat or low-pitched roof as it can be, to do the task. You can also buy a snow blower if you want to spend a little more money.

Cost Considerations

If you want to use a snow rake and not hire any professionals, then the budget for it can be around $6-$13. The shovel costs approximately $15-$35 and along with a ladder.

Although it might seem like a good option economically, it can be very risky. In my opinion, hiring professionals for the work is a safer move to clean the roof even though it can put a hole in your budget.

How to Remove Snow from Roof

There are different techniques for different types of roofs. Below, we’re gonna talk about them.

For Steep Roofs

You can use snow rakes from the ground to clear the snow on your roof easily. Snow rakes containing interlocking poles or telescoping poles, which are 10-15 feet apiece, can be extended into 20 to 25 feet. You can also buy extension poles if you really need them so that you can stand on the ground and reach out to your roof.

The easiest method of clearing snow on the roof is to start working from the edge of your roof. Then continue to work your way up along your roof and start pulling off the snow. It is grueling work, and so you need to put a lot of effort into the job.

Make sure to remain at a safe distance while clearing; otherwise, you may end up hurting yourself. You must also be careful of the windows while clearing with the poles as they can be easily damaged. And you have to cover a lot of areas while clearing steep roofs. Therefore, always make a clear path for your convenience.

Moreover, you can do this simple task with the help of a snow-blower or snow chute. It isn’t necessary to remove all the snow from the roof. Furthermore, if you do so, you might end up damaging your roof or take out the polish off, which will ultimately lead to leaking issues.

There’s another thing you should be aware of, which are the electrical wires. It is because the poles are made from metal and so you might get electrocuted in the process. As a result, you should try to avoid the electrical wires near your house.

For Low-Pitched Roof

It is tough to remove the snow from houses that are built with a low-pitched roof. It is a safer bet to consult with highly professional people who are more skilled and experienced in this field. Cleaning with a snow rake doesn’t produce efficient results on flat roofs because you won’t be able to clear out all the snow.

So, you have to get on the roof repeatedly for the task, which is both dangerous and risky. As you can’t obviously use a rake, it’s better to call who is efficient in clearing the snow for you.

You might ask yourself why they are better at this job? It is because they use ladders or tether themselves in an orderly way on the roof and clear out all the accumulated snow effortlessly.

However, if you think you can get on the roof, then make sure to use outrigger, which is a stabilizer bar for maintaining your balance while working. These stabilizing legs are quite helpful as it creates a perfect connection with the ground when you clear the roof.

Also, it is a smart idea to keep the ladder on the far right of the roof and then slowly move to the left of your roof. You can start shoveling but always leave a perimeter of snow on your roof along the edge as a safety measure. Although it might seem silly, but if you slip and fall, this will help you cushion and reduce casualties.

After cleaning the center of the roof, you can proceed to the edges for clearing the snow. It is better to tether yourself while you are at it to prevent falling off the edges. You should never use PVC pipes or any other ones because they definitely won’t hold your weight.

Other Types of Roofs

The roofs of the outbuildings, carports, decks, sheds, etc. are more susceptible to snow buildup. Furthermore, these buildings are poorly heated and not well-maintained, as well. As a consequence, snow tends to accumulate on it faster and, therefore, is more likely to collapse.

The only way to clear this type of roofs is to use the snow rake from the ground. If it is essential to climb, then you can work by standing on the walls around the buildings to get better results. However, you have to reconfirm that you have a strong foundation underneath those walls.


In most cases, clearing your roof is not an emergency, but it is wise to do it regularly. The main aim is to remove the load from the roof and to keep it snow-free, especially along the eaves of the roof. Therefore, there will be fewer chances of developing ice dams.

Hope that this guideline answered all of your queries regarding to how to remove snow from roof fast. If you still have some confusion, don't forget to leave it via the comment box.

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