During winter, watching the snowflakes fall and turning everything to white is a pretty sight; however, once these lovely flakes begin to pile up on the top of a building, they can become destructive. Layers of packed snow can become so heavy it could cause a structure to break down, resulting in costly roofing repairs. This is why it is extremely important to regularly remove snow before it gets too heavy. Following are some safety reminders when shoveling snow off the roof.
- Physical Condition – Shoveling is an exhausting job. The roof must be climbed as well as the time it takes to remove the snow and other precipitation. Before deciding to do this shoveling, careful consideration must be given to one’s physical condition and ability to withstand the sub-zero temperatures and the physical demands of the task.
- Know the Structure – The layers of snow can easily alter the shape of a roof, which will make walking on it difficult and dangerous. The valleys and the edges will be difficult to distinguish. Before the winter season arrives, time should be taken to become familiar with the profile of the roofing system so that once winter arrives, known hazards will be easy to detect.
- Dress for the Task – Removal of this frozen precipitation is obviously a cold job. Anyone working on a roof must be able to work comfortably for long periods of time while still preventing hypothermia. Before beginning this task, it is important to wear thick clothing to conserve body heat. A scarf, hat, and gloves should be worn over the extremities to prevent frost bite. Boots with rubberized soles should also be worn to reduce the risk of slipping.
- Safety Harness – Working on a roof comes with a serious risk of falling. To prevent this from happening, it is important that a safety rope be attached to a solid portion of the roof and tied around a worker’s waist. This should prevent the worker from falling straight to the ground in case of a slip.
- Use a Spotter – Shoveling snow can be done alone; however, as a precaution there should be a spotter who can provide any assistance from the ground. The primary role of a spotter is to monitor the activity of the worker on the roof, supply needed tools, and provide immediate response in case of a fall.
- Avoid Roof Edge – When shoveling, keep a one-inch clearance from the finish. Most roofing material can be damaged and shoveling too close to the edge could cause damage. After brushing off the thickest part of the snow, remove the remaining amount with a soft rake. On steep areas, snow can be removed by throwing potassium chloride chunks on that portion of the roof.
- Watch Dumping Location – During the removal process, consider where the snow will land on the ground. It could be accidentally thrown on a delicate plant or other breakable object, causing more damage in the process.
Shoveling snow is an important part of home maintenance during the winter months. Melted snow can collect, causing damming and possibly interior leaks which could require repairs. Always keep in mind that safety should be the top priority when working on the roof. If the roof is too steep, consider hiring a professional to do the job. Following these important tips above should allow snow shoveling from a roof to be done with ease!
Are you looking for a Houston roofing repair company to help you with repairs to your roof? Schulte Roofing of Navasota provides roofing services to the greater Houston area and can help Houston customers with all of their roofing needs!