For many homeowners, the prospect of climbing onto the roof is unsettling even in the best of weather. Throw in roof shoveling on a layer of snow and ice and you’ve got a situation that is downright dangerous. But while letting snow pile up over the course of the winter might keep you out of a precarious situation, isn’t doing your roof any favors. Rather than risking permanent roof damage from the accumulated weight, hire a snow removal service that will spare you – and your roof – unnecessary stress.
How Do I Know If I Need My Roof Shoveled?
Your roof should have been built to withstand the maximum predicted snowfall for your region of the country. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be concerned about the amount of snow on your roof.
Wet snow, for example, is around 6 times heavier than dry, fluffy snow. Then there’s snow that melts and refreezes, creating ice, in addition to snow drifts. Finally, the pitch of the roof affects how much snow it can handle (a steep-pitched roof, for example, can handle significantly more snow than a flat roof). All of these factors can make it difficult to determine exactly how much weight is pressing down on your roof.
Sticking doors and/or cracks in the drywall or plaster around doors are signs that the snow on your roof could be causing damage.
While there are mathematical formulas that can estimate how many pounds per square foot are currently sitting on your roof, they are only useful for a quick analysis. A more surefire way to tell if the snow and ice load is becoming too much for your home to bear is to check the doors situated near the center of the house. If they didn’t stick before, but are beginning to stick now, it could be a sign that the excess weight is straining your house’s structural support. Cracks in the drywall or plaster around doors also signal structural distortion.
Perhaps the most realistic measure of whether or not roof shoveling is necessary is your level of concern. If your region has experienced heavy snow and ice recently and you’re worried about roof damage – or even a collapse – you might consider putting in a call to a snow removal company. After all, spending a bit of money is worth your peace of mind.
The Benefits of Professional Snow Removal
Reasons to hire a pro to remove the snow from your roof include the following:
- Safety: It is not alarmist to say that roof shoveling is perilous, since homeowners have actually died attempting to clean the snow from their house. Even barring this worst case scenario, climbing on a snowy, icy roof presents a real risk of injury, especially if yours is difficult to access.
- Professional Know-How: The pros use special equipment and tools to clear snow and ice as thoroughly, safely, and efficiently as possible. Plus, they know how to avoid damaging the roof.
- Roof Health: A thick layer of snow and ice that lingers for weeks, or even months, can reduce the lifespan of your roof by a decade or more. Avoid premature replacement and costly repairs by having the source of potential damage removed.
Roof Snow Removal Costs
- A professional snow removal job on an average-sized home should cost around $300 – $500, although roofs that are larger or steeper than average, or those with difficult to access areas, could cost up to $1,000 or more.
- A heat cable – which operates similar to a rear windshield defroster – can be installed on your roof to melt snow and ice. Expect to pay approximately $500 – $1,500 for heat cable installation depending on the size of your roof and whether the cable is manually controlled or thermostat controlled.