SNow on roof

How to Remove Snow from a Roof Safely

The weather outside is frightful, and the snow on your roof is far from delightful. If this sounds like your situation, then you are probably looking for a way to remove the white fluffy menace.

After all, a cubic foot of dry snow weighs seven pounds. A cubic foot of wet snow can weigh twelve or more. It’s easy to see how this excess weight can cause a lot of damage to your roof, with large, flat roofs being the worst culprits.

However, before you head outside with your shovel like a weekend warrior in a sit-comm, it’s important to read this blog post. We will show you the safest way to rid yourself of that chilly blanket of snow. After all, you don’t want to hurt yourself just because you went to clean off the roof.

Strength In Numbers

Firstly, never go out to remove the snow alone. If you can’t hire a professional to remove it for you, at least gather up some friends or neighbors.

Having a team of people attacking the roof ensures that the job will be done more quickly. However, that isn’t the only benefit. If you work as a team and there is an accident, other people can go and call for help, preventing the possibility of being trapped and having hypothermia set in.

Use a Rake

If you have a pitched roof, a snow rake can be a great tool. Many of them have telescoping handles, capable of allowing you to stand on the ground as you rake the snow off the roof.

However, it is important to bear in mind that this doesn’t work for multi-story houses. You will not be able to reach the second story roof with a snow rake.

Start at the edge

When raking a roof, always start at the edges. Rake the snow from the edges off the roof before moving toward the middle. This way, you will not have massive piles of snow sliding down from your roof all at once.

Don’t Scrape It Clean

The temptation may be to scrape all the snow off your roof. Do not do this. It can cause a lot of damage to your roof decking or the protective granules. Instead, shave the amount of snow on your roof down to two or three inches. This way, you remove some of the weight on the roof, leaving enough snow that you’re not marring your roof covering.

Be Careful of Metal

If possible, avoid metal rakes or other tools. Metal tools will conduct electricity. This means that if you accidentally bump a power line, you could be badly shocked.

If you have to use metal tools, be safe. Make sure you know where the power lines are before you start removing the snow. Also, be aware that metal tools can damage your roof more than other types of tool can.

Shoveling Snow from Flat Roofs

If your roof is flat instead of pitched, shovel the snow from the roof over the side away from the building. That way, you won’t have to worry about a snow pile around your foundations, and the snow will be clear of the building entirely.

Keep Drains Clean

Do not forget the gutters. Make sure they are free of ice and snow which could break them. Also, snow melt needs a place to flow to the ground from. That’s the job of your gutters.

While you’re taking care of the gutters, make sure to care for the downspouts also. They need to be kept clean and snow-free for the same reason.


Moving snow is not an easy process. However, it is necessary in order to prevent possible roof damage and to clean up after blizzards. If you make sure to practice some useful safety tips, you will be able to easily shovel the snow away without hurting yourself.