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How to Avoid Roof Damage When You're Trying to Remove Snow

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With most of the United States being buried in snow, it's a good time to learn about what to do to protect your roof. Too much snow can damage your roof and even potentially cause a cave-in or collapse, but using the wrong technique to remove the snow can damage your roof shingles and make your roof leak. Follow these steps to protect your roof and prevent damage to the shingles.

Use the Right Tool

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when clearing the snow off your roof is to use the wrong tool. You'll be able to remove plenty of snow, but there's also a good chance that you'll be hitting and scratching your roof shingles. This can make shingles break and fall off, and that's difficult to fix when your roof is covered in snow.

Instead, make sure to use a roof rake that's designed specifically for clearing snow without damaging your roof. They're fairly inexpensive, and it'll be much cheaper than having a professional repair the damage from using a shovel or some other inappropriate tool.

Leave Snow Behind

Ideally, your roof shouldn't be completely devoid of snow when you're done raking it: leave a thin layer of snow behind, enough that you can't see the roof shingles. This will protect the shingles from being exposed to direct sunlight, which can make them brittle by rapidly changing their temperature from extremely cold to hot.

Additionally, you're less likely to touch the shingles with the rake, which could break them or dislodge the pebbles from the shingles. If the shingles become loose or the pebbles break off, melting snow can easily get under the shingles and result in water leaking into your home.

As for how much you should leave behind, you only need a few inches of snow to remain on your roof. Packed snow weighs more than fresh snow, but anything over two feet of snow could potentially damage your roof.

Keep Gutters Clean

Make sure that ice and snow aren't building up on the corners of your roof or blocking your rain gutters. If your gutters are blocked, melting liquid will back up onto your roof and may end up leaking into your home. If there's a lot of ice in your rain gutters, it might be so heavy that the excess weight will break the gutters off of your home. Take steps to clear your rain gutters in between storms to prevent this problem, and tighten any loose screws.

Damaged roof shingles can cause serious problems and expense during winter storms, but with these tips you can prevent it from happening. For more maintenance tips and suggestions, talk to companies such as Don Snider Roofing.