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Tips to prevent roof damage from heavy snow and ice

Posted at 5:43 PM, Mar 27, 2023

Even though snow looks light and fluffy, enough of it can be so heavy that it can cause serious damage to your roof.

“It’s definitely difficult if you don’t have the right tools, and it started to thaw and freeze so it gets super heavy and difficult to get off the roof,” said Julynn Wildman who was putting in some serious work to get the snow off her roof.

Wildman says she fears the piled-up snow on her roof will damage her home.

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, it takes four feet of fresh snow or two feet of old, compressed snow to create enough weight to stress a roof.

And the cycle of snow freezing and thawing on a roof can create ice dams that block the flow of melted snow and allow water under your shingles, upping your chances of having a leak in your home.

To prevent her roof from being damaged, Wildman was using her own makeshift tool: a trencher tied to a rope.

“It worked better than not doing anything,” said Wildman.

Luckily as I drove by and asked to interview Wildman, I had just bought a snow rake and let her borrow it. She even assembled it for me.

“I would suggest getting the right tools,” said Wildman.

Tanner Hagerman, the owner of 406 Roofing suggests the same thing.

“Your best friends are gonna be a snow shovel and a snow rake,” said Hagerman.

Hagerman says even though it’s easier to call a licensed company to come remove the snow off your roof, it’s not necessarily practical to do that every time it snows in Montana.

He says there are ways for people to safely remove snow off their roofs themselves.

“Start at the top of the roof shoveling and then when you get down to the bottom of the roof, take your snow rake and rake the rest off,” said Hagerman.

And Wildman had some tips to share as well.

“Just get a shovel that works for your body, and don’t stand underneath the roof as you're scraping it off,” said Wildman.