Denali Exteriors

How do I know if I should clean the snow off my roof?


The question of how you know if you should clean the snow off your roof is one that plagues a lot of homeowners in Winnipeg every winter.

You always hear about the horror stories of someone else’s roof getting damaged from too much snow and wonder if you’re next. But of course, it could never happen to you…right?

In this article, we’re going to help you out in answering that question.

How do I know if I should clean the snow off my roof?

When in doubt…

If all else fails, let’s just start off with this fail-safe rule of thumb for knowing when you should clean the snow off your roof.

After every 15 cm (6”), is the average amount of snow where a roof cleaning would be justified.

By doing this, you are essentially accomplishing two things:

  1. You’re minimizing the risk of a roof cave-in
  2. You’re making it harder for ice dams to form

Not concerned about roof collapse?

If you know that your roof is solid, and you’re not too worried about a collapse, you can definitely wait a bit longer to get the snow off your roof.

In this case, you could easily wait until there’s a foot (@ 30 cm) of snow accumulated.

But there is something very important to consider…

How heavy is the snow?

For as cold as it gets here in Winnipeg, we sometimes get a break from the minus 40-degree weather. The bad news is that those breaks usually come with more humidity. More humidity means wetter, heavier snow.

When deciding whether to clean your roof or not, think about the last several snowfalls and what the snow was like.

Was it minus gazillion with lighter, puffier snow; or was it minus 5 with heavier, denser snow?

Did you know?

It’s possible that wet snow can weigh six or more times as much as puffier, lighter snow.

Average weights for one cubic foot of light and heavy snow

Light/puffy0.26 lbs or more
Heavy/wet1.66 lbs or more

If you know that there’s been more of the heavy stuff, you might not want to wait until you accumulate too much snow on your roof.

Pay attention to the forecast

Paying attention to the forecast, as futile as that may be judging from how accurate it normally is, can still be a guide for knowing what state the snow is in.

For example, if the forecast calls for below freezing temperatures throughout the week, with 6 inches on Monday and another 6 to 10 inches on Thursday, you might want to think about cleaning your roof on Friday.

However, if the temperature during the day is fairly warm, you could think about holding off as the first 6 inches on Monday might have melted by Thursday.

Doing it yourself or getting a snow removal company to do it

As much as we pride ourselves on being able to do as much as we can to maintain and improve our homes, sometimes we just don’t have the time or specialized equipment.

Remember that safety should always come first.

If you don’t have the proper safety equipment to clean your roof properly, you might want to think about calling a snow removal roofing company, such as Denali Exteriors, to do it for you.

Word of advice: Think about setting up a pre-winter contract with a reputable snow removal company, as you may find that you’ll end up waiting if you call when everyone else in Winnipeg is also calling.

Get a quote for clearing the snow off your roof