Summary 

Do get the snow removed either by shovel or by rake, so as to minimize your risk of a cave-in and/or ice dams. 

Don’t put any salt products on your roof—unless you want to run the risk of discolored shingles and dead plants or grass. 

Do consider using heat cables as good option for difficult areas such as valleys. 

Do try, as a rule of thumb, to get your roof raked/shovelled after every 6 inches or so of snowfall, so that it never piles up too much.  If your main goal is to prevent ice dams, you should clear your roof after about every 6’’ of snowfall.  But if your main concern is a roof collapse, then raking your roof after every 12’’ or more of snowfall should be adequate. 

Do rake/shovel your roof as routinely as possible without directly touching your shingles. 

Do be careful to avoid any overhead power lines when raking your roof. 

Do make sure you clear the overhangs—preferably first—whenever you rake your roof. 

Don’t try to shovel your roof snow yourself.  If there’s simply too much snow or if the snow is too hardened or heavy for your roof rake to handle, hire a roof snow removal service instead. 

Don’t use a shovel with a metal edge 

Don’t leave any snow pathways on your roof. 

Do be very wary of any roof snow removal companies whose rates are surprisingly low; the cheapest services are almost always using non-insured, under-qualified, under-experienced workers. 

Snow and ice removal is dangerous. Ventilation and the structural design of your roof can cause significant ice damming. 

Call McKay Roofing for a free estimate and quote for your snow and ice removal. 

Why do I need to get the snow removed from my roof?

The main reason you should keep your roof as snow-free as possible is that it’s critical for preventing ice dams from forming on your roof. 

If you’re able to prevent ice dams, you’re far more likely to prevent your roof from leaking and damaging the inside of your home. 

How do I know when roof snow removal is necessary?

A good rule of thumb is to get your roof cleared after every 6 inches of snowfall.  If you prevent too much snow from piling up on your roof, it’s much harder for ice dams to form and you can certainly stop worrying about any sort of roof cave-in. 

Generally speaking, even though every roof is different, you’ll especially want to consider this “6-inch” rule of thumb if you’ve repeatedly had problems with ice dams in the past. 

On the other hand, if you’ve never had an ice dam and your only concern is avoiding a roof collapse, then you might want to consider holding off on any roof snow removal until you’ve accumulated a foot or more of snow. 

When deciding the right time to get roof snow removal, it’s also important to take into account how heavy the snow is.  Wet, heavy snow can weigh 6 or more times as much as lighter dryer snow.  

What should I know in case I need to get my roof shoveled?

The first thing to know about getting your roof shoveled is that it’s most likely NOT a good idea to try to do it yourself.  You can easily injure yourself trying to climb onto your slippery roof.  

Many companies offer cheaper rates, but in most cases that’s because they’re not properly insured, or because they’re bidding for the cheapest workers (who may or may not have any experience working on roofs).  Be very wary of roof snow removal services that seem like a “steal.” Remember if the company doesn’t have WSIB you can and will be sued for injured workers and your home insurance offers no protection from this.