Try These 3 Tips to Safely Remove Snow From Your Roof

Laura Hennigan
Written by Laura Hennigan
Updated January 17, 2022
Neighborhood houses under snow
Photo: Karelian / Adobe Stock

Snow is best left on the ground

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There are few things cozier than curling up with hot chocolate and watching the snow fall outside your window. The only problem? Those sparkling snowflakes always end up on your roof. 

After any big snowfall, you may wonder how much snow a roof can hold, and when to remove snow from your roof. Most residential roofs can hold 20 pounds per cubic foot of snow before it becomes a problem. If you think you’ve gotten more snow than that, it’s time to address it. Here are some roof snow removal tips—so you can enjoy a worry-free winter wonderland.

1. Use Rope or Wire

If your roof is not terribly high, using a long piece of rope is an easy way to quickly remove piles of snow. Simply take a length of rope (at least 15 feet) and, while holding the two ends, throw the middle loop of rope over a large drift and pull down. Wire cutting snow from a roof uses the same method as rope removal. Since wire is much sturdier, this version may work better for extra icy snow.

2. Rake the Roof

Several big box stores sell roof rakes specifically designed for snow removal. They cost around $60 and come with an extendable pole for easy reach. Depending on the height of your roof, the raking method can be used from the ground, or by standing on a ladder. When raking, be sure to pull down the slope of the roofline to prevent damage to gutters. 

3. Call a Snow Removal Pro

Professional removing snow on roof of home
Photo: Oleg / Adobe Stock

This is a job best left to a local snow removal pro, as it’s risky to climb on your roof—especially when there’s slippery ice or snow up there. If you are worried about the amount of snow build up on your roof, it’s time to hire a snow removal expert who has the tools and knowledge to tackle the project safely.

Preventative Measures for Roof Snow

You can also take a few preventative steps to avoid issues due to excess roof snow.

Proper Attic Insulation

Attic insulation should have a depth of at least R-40. Making sure there is enough insulation will help prevent ice dams from forming. 

Fix Gaps

Since most of a home’s heat is lost through the attic, be sure to seal up any gaps, holes, or cracks where air can escape.

Install Guards

Having gutter guards and covers will help keep water and ice from building up and causing damage. 

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