How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

Guide to Roof Snow Removal

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > Guide to Roof Snow Removal
Guide to Roof Snow Removal

In areas that experience heavy winter precipitation, the weight of all that ice and snow can put unnecessary strain on a home's roof. Additionally, heat that comes up from the house can cause snow to melt and, when the temperature cools down, form ice dams that wreak havoc on roofing materials. Thankfully, there are many options for roof snow removal that can eliminate this strain and lengthen the life of roofing components.

  1. 1.Hire a Roof Snow Removal Contractor

    Homeowners should also be aware that the cost of this task can vary significantly from one contractor to the next...

    One of the most obvious ways to get heavy snow and ice off of your roof is to hire a professional, but it is very important to hire carefully. In a report from the Upstate New York Better Business Bureau, homeowners are not only cautioned against performing dangerous roof work themselves but also against hiring a contractor who is not insured to perform the work. Homeowners should also be aware that the cost of this task can vary significantly from one contractor to the next, so calling several companies and getting multiple quotes is crucial if you want a good price.

  2. 2.Break Out the Shovel

    Of course, homeowners could decide to do this work themselves. Depending on the pitch of your roof, the materials it is made of, and its overall stability, this can be a viable option. It is important to note, however, that plenty of homeowners have been injured performing this job, and that roof materials that are already strained (not to mention covered in slick ice and snow) can be extremely hazardous. Also, certain roofing materials like slate can get damaged very easily by the weight of a human; this, of course, could lead to unnecessary repair costs.

  3. 3.Roof Rakes

    Roof rakes allow you to remove snow from the roof from the ground. Since these devices eliminate the need for anyone to actually walk on the roof, they significantly reduce the danger involved in the job as well as lower the risk of damaging roofing components. Roof rakes may not be as effective on flatter roofs, especially when the snow to be removed is very deep. They do, however, offer homeowners an excellent DIY option that can be performed quickly and safely.

  5. 4.Snow Removal By Design

    The pitch of your roof as well as the material it is made of will play a very important role in how much snow will actually be allowed to build up on it. Obviously, the steeper the pitch, the less likely snow will be able to cling to it. Metal roofing is a particularly good choice for snowy climates because snow tends to slide off of it easily. Though more expensive than standard asphalt shingles, this quality and metal roofing's long life expectancy (40-80 years according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) make the initial investment to install it more bearable.

  6. 5.The Importance of Attic Insulation

    The weight of snow can certainly take its toll on your roof, but ice dams created by melting snow that is allowed to freeze again can be particularly devastating. In some cases, ice dams are simply unavoidable. However, with sufficient insulation in your attic, you can go a long way in preventing them from forming. Many newer homes already have a significant amount of insulation underneath the roof, but if your house was built more than 20 or 30 years ago, there's a very good chance that additional insulation in the attic will not only help prevent ice dams, but will lower your heating costs, as well. It is important to note, too, that additional insulation may also help keep your home cooler in the summer, making it an investment that performs all year long.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.