When winter storms hit, one thing to keep in mind is heavy snow loads on your roof. In fact, it may be a good idea to take steps for roof snow removal to avoid a roof collapse from all that heavy snow.
If you are concerned about heavy snow on your roof and the potential for roof collapse, it’s not a bad idea to check things out. You might want to begin your inspection with signs for any leaks or weak spots in your roof. This can be done from the inside of your home. As the weather warms up bit and snow starts to melt, make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear.
Most of the time a little sunshine and above-freezing temperatures are all you need to avoid a roof collapse. But if you want to speed up the process, a sloped roof can usually be cleared from the ground. Just make sure you use the right tools. Avoid metal tools, which can catch on and damage asphalt shingles. Snow cutters or snow rakes are specially designed for roof snow removal. They have a blade, or cutter, attached to a long pole that can be used from the ground.
If you have a flat roof, take extreme caution climbing onto it to remove snow. It might be a good idea to call a pro for the job. If you must, make sure you have help on the ground and watch your step! The danger of serious injury, or even death, is always a risk when working at heights. Add snow or ice on the roof to the mix and one wrong move could send you over the edge before you have a chance to do anything about it.
If you are lucky enough to have a metal roof, you have a self-cleaning roof system! As soon as the temperatures climb a little and the roof warms up, the snow will slide right off.
Keep in mind that if your doors or windows don’t seem to be working right, if you spot a roof leak or if you notice deflection of ceiling finishes or exposed beams, you may have a roof failure or potential roof collapse. In this case, call your homeowners insurance company or a structural engineer for advice. But remember, most of the time, you can avoid a roof collapse from heavy snow by having good roof drainage and above freezing temperatures.