It’s that time again and the winter white stuff has arrived all too early in my opinion. With the snow comes some hidden hazards that I thought I would bring to your attention. We all understand the weight of water but most of us think of snow as being light and harmless. When we get heavy snow falls like we have recently it is common to have large accumulations on our roofs. If you are like me and have a steel roof it is an acute hazard to have all that snow up above your head. Even shingled roofs can have snow slides if the roof is steep and conditions are right. If you have ever been up close to see snow slide off a roof you will know how powerful and heavy this can be. Trust me when I say you do not want to be under that mini avalanche as you could wind up badly hurt.
One solution to this problem is to carefully shovel the snow off but this in itself can be dangerous as many people have been hurt trying to remove the threat. Removing snow from a roof can also damage shingles if not done carefully. Use a roof scoop which is designed to drag the snow off the roof with minimal damage to the shingles. The best solution on a metal roof is to install snow guards near the eave. The snow guard will hold back the snow and or slice it up into smaller pieces when it does slide so it is less dangerous to the people below. Besides the threat of falling snow there is also the weight of the snow to consider. If you remove the snow from your roof be sure not to overload your deck in the process. If in the process of removing snow you find there is a lot of ice built up on the shingles do not attempt to break it free as it will come off with the shingles so it is best to leave it there. There are other reasons the ice is damming on the roof that I will write about next week. Until then be safe.