Snow removal is an important part of residential and commercial winter property maintenance in Toronto and the GTA. Most people tend to focus on removing snow and ice from walkways, front porches, and their driveways. Oftentimes, the roof gets neglected because it’s just too difficult and dangerous to get up there to shovel the snow. But this is a big mistake. Allowing the snow to pile up on your roof can be dangerous and damaging to the structure of your property, especially after a series of snowstorms.
Why You Should Remove Snow from Your Roof in the Winter
Commercial and residential property ownership is a major investment, so it’s only natural to do everything in your power to protect your assets. Winter property maintenance in Toronto keeps your property in excellent condition and prevents damages from lowering its value and curb appeal. Here are a few reasons you should spend the time and money to remove snow from your roof in the winter.
Prevent Structural Damages
Roofs are sturdy structures that are designed to withstand exposure to all kinds of seasonal natural elements such as wind, rain, snow, hail, and more. Heavy mounds of snow and ice, however, can put a lot of pressure on your roof, causing it to dip and even collapse in some areas. Expensive shingle damage can also occur.
Flat roofs such as those used for most commercial buildings have a higher risk of sustaining structural damages than sloped roofs. That’s because the snow doesn’t just slide off of the sides. Instead, it sits on top and continues to collect and goes through several freeze-thaw cycles.
Prevent Ice Dams from Forming
Ice dams form as a direct result of the freeze-thaw cycle that snow goes through. On mild winter days, the combination of warmer temperatures, heat from the sun, and the heat that escapes through your roof melts the snow into water. That water spreads throughout your roof, making its way into your gutters, and eventually freezes into ice.
Ice dams that remain on your roof can cause serious structural damages and prevent water runoff from moving through your drainage system. This leads to the formation of more ice dams, the weight of which coupled with additional snow can weaken the structural integrity of your roof and cause it to buckle.
Ice dams also damage roof shingles, which are already vulnerable in cold temperatures. Once the ice dams shift, melt, or fall off the sides of the roof, the shingles can loosen and fall off with them.
Blocked Roof Vents Are Dangerous
Runoff water from melted ice and snow on your roof can get trapped and freeze inside your property’s ventilation system. Blockages in those exterior vents are extremely dangerous and can cause harmful gases such as carbon monoxide to get trapped inside your property.
Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it’s a completely inert gas, making it undetectable to the senses. Once it infiltrates your home, you and your family are immediately at risk of suffering carbon monoxide poisoning. Luckily, Ontario mandates that all residential properties must have fully functional carbon monoxide detectors installed at all times.
Best Methods for Removing Snow from Your Roof
There are a lot of effective and safe methods for removing snow from your roof. You can choose to do it yourself or hire a professional snow removal company in Mississauga that has access to fully trained contractors and heavy-duty equipment. Whichever option you choose, make sure that all proper safety precautions are being taken to prevent injury and property damages.
Light, freshly fallen snow can easily be removed with a rake. The main benefit of this method is that it can be done from the ground, which means you don’t have to climb up on your roof to remove the snow. Snow rakes for residential roofs are relatively affordable and can be found at any retail hardware store. They also come with various brush attachments and extensions so that you can access harder-to-reach parts of your roof.
The only caveat is that snow rakes only work on freshly fallen snow. Large mounds of snow with bits of ice in them are a lot harder and more dangerous to remove. If your roof has accumulated heavy amounts of snow, try to rake as much of it as you can and shovel the rest. At least that way, most of the snow will have been cleared safely from the ground and you’ll have less shovelling to do.
Climbing on top of your roof in cold and sometimes slippery and wet conditions to shovel snow isn’t exactly an ideal scenario. Without the proper safety gear like a harness and winter boots with excellent traction, it can be incredibly dangerous. If you’re not comfortable working on heights, then you should consider hiring a professional snow removal service in Toronto.
Don’t use a metal shovel on your roof as it will damage the shingles. Use a plastic shovel instead.
Ice Pick Method
Climbing on top of your roof with an ice pick might make you look like Yukon Cornelius, but it’s an incredibly effective snow removal method. You’ll need to strap yourself into a safety harness to prevent injury. Once you’re up there, use the ice pick to carefully break apart large pieces of hardened snow and carefully push them off the side of your house. Make sure that there’s no one down under before doing so.
Hire Professional Snow Removal Services
The safest and most efficient option is to hire local snow removal services in Toronto and the GTA. It may cost you a little bit of money upfront, but it’ll save you a lot of time and eliminate the risk of injury.
FOREVER GREEN LAWN & LANDSCAPE INC. offers year-round professional residential and commercial property maintenance. Our team of skilled contractors have the proper safety training and snow removal equipment to keep your roof clean and clear all winter long. Contact us to get a quote!