How to Get Snow to Slide Off a Roof


Snow accumulation will damage a traditional pitched roof if it lingers for too long. You need to remove snow quickly after precipitation; allowing more snow to accumulate risks collapsing the roof, and letting even a little snow linger could cause roof materials to deteriorate. Further, melting snow fills gutters and downspouts, often refreezing and contributing to water leaks. Most roofs are slanted to allow runoff, but only a steeply pitched roof will resist snow accumulation. Getting snow to slide off a nominally pitched roof alleviates pressure and helps protect your roof against winter damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Snow rake
  • Ladder
  • Shovel
  • Rake snow off the roof using a snow rake. A snow rake usually comes with an extended pole to help you reach far up the roof from the ground, depending on the height of your house. Snow rake kits are available in hardware stores.

  • Lean a ladder up against the roof and have someone hold it at the bottom while you climb up with a shovel in lieu of using a snow rake, or even if you do have one that won't reach the peak of the roof.

  • Scoop any remaining snow off your roof using the flat-blade shovel. Use the shovel as a scraper against the roof surface, or to pull the snow toward you and guide it off the roof.

Tips & Warnings

  • Heating cables help eliminate snow accumulation from your roof, but they require installation prior to a snowfall.

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