Well we may not have got much snow in Niagara yet, but eventually it will come and it will stay with us for the season. So, when it does start to accumulate on the roof is it ever a good idea to physically remove it?
Well, in my opinion, no. The reason for that is that most roofs are built to handle the snow that is piled up on them, removing snow is dangerous to you and often the process of snow removal causes more damage to the roof than the snow would.
Those were the conclusions that were drawn by several studies carried out after the infamous Eastern Canada and US Ice Storm of January 1998. Also, did you know in the last few years 16 homeowners have died trying to remove snow from roofs in Montreal alone? It is more dangerous than you might think.
Another thing to think about this winter is that when the snow does get really heavy out there and you read stories about shopping centres, warehouses and halls caving in – do not unnecessarily worry about your roof. These spread-out flat steel structure roofs are actually more vulnerable than our homes and are built with the assumption that they receive regular professional maintenance -- including watching the snow loads and removing snow when necessary.
Our houses have more structural support in a smaller space and are designed to survive under most bad conditions without snow removal, although the flatter the roof, the more likely it is to accumulated snow loads.
In conclusion this week, I know not everyone will agree with my advice so, if you do clear a roof, do not try to remove the last layer of ice or snow that is attached to the roof. Remove the weight above it but leave that layer to protect the roof membrane or shingles. Trying to go right down to the roof will most likely cause the roof to leak when things begin to thaw.
If you need any assistance at all with your roofing please call my team at Class Eh! Roofing and we will be there to help.
Wayne Jeffreys is a native of Niagara-On-The-Lake and owner of Niagara based roofing company Class Eh Roofing!