How to safely remove snow from a roof

How to safely remove snow from a roof
Tony Schlessinger
Tony Schlessinger


Some responsibilities fall on you when it starts snowing, and one of them is getting rid of the snow on your roof. Removing snow from your roof is necessary to prevent structural damage and ice dams. Many methods have been introduced but not all of them are safe for you and your roof. This article explores some safe methods of removing snow from your roof.

Method of removing snow from a roof

There are many methods you can adopt to get rid of the snow on your roof. Here are some effective and safe methods:

1. Remove snow from a roof with a rope

One effective way of removing snow from the roof is using a rope. This method requires two people. You will stand on one side of the house while your partner stands on the other. Get a long rope that spans your roof. Hold the rope at one end and tie something heavy on the other end. While holding on to your end, throw the rope over the roof and let your partner grab the heavy end. Holding the heavy side of the rope, let your partner walk it back to the side of the house you are standing. The rope will cover a wide section of the roof and will be deep into the snow. Both of you will repeatedly pull at both ends of the rope as if you are sawing something. This will release the snow on the roof and send it down. Ensure that the snow does not fall on you or your partner. Note that this method is most suitable for low houses. 

2. Remove snow from your roof with a wire

This method is similar to using a rope. Get a piece of wire long enough to cover a large part of your roof. While holding onto both ends of the wire, throw it over the roof such that the curved midsection of the wire is over the roof. Move backward while pulling at both ends of the wire. The snow will come falling off. Repeat the process until you have rid the roof of much snow.

The curved midsection can get to the other end of the roof if the roof is small. If it is a large house and roof, the wire will cover a significant part of the roof, getting rid of much snow at a time. It is advisable to get someone to hold one end of the wire while you hold onto the other end to achieve better results and to get the work done with less effort on your part.

3. Remove snow from your roof with a heating cable

This method is very efficient and does not require any physical effort from you. To get started, you will have to install a heating cable across your roof. Once the cable is turned on, it will get rid of the snow by melting it off. You can install it on your roof before or after a snowstorm. If installed before a snowstorm, it will get your roof warm enough to prevent snow from sitting on it. The snow melts off immediately because of the heat. If turned on after a snowstorm, it will get rid of the entire snow once the roof heats enough to melt the snow and release its hold on the roof.

4. Remove snow from your roof with a roof rake

A roof rake is used to remove snow from single-story roofs without having to leave the ground. You can effectively get rid of the snow on your roof with a roof rake. This method requires physical strength to pull off but it is worth the effort. Roof rake works like the regular rake but roof rakes are non-abrasive and specifically designed to not damage the surfaces you are using them on. Roof rake features a long handle and a squeegee at the end. The handle is long enough to let you get to a considerably large part of your roof. Some roof rakes are up to 21 feet long. 

With the rake, dig into the snow on your roof and make for the bottom. When the rake touches the roof, pull it back as you would a regular rake. The snow will dislodge from the roof and slide down. Repeat this motion until you get rid of much snow.

5. Remove snow from your roof with de-icer

De-icers are a more healthy way of removing snow from the roof than salt. De-icers are effective but should be carefully used on the roof. It is advisable to stuff de-icers in a pantyhose to regulate its flow. Hang the pantyhose downwards on the roof. The flow of the de-icers will melt trails into the snow. Gradually, the snow will melt off your roof.

What to note when removing snow from your roof

Not all things and practices are safe for use on your roof when ridding it of snow. To keep your roof intact while effectively riding if snow, note these tips:

  • Do not use metal shovels. Shovels can damage your roof leaving you with a leaking roof. The metal shovel can scratch your roof.
  • Do not use salt. While salt will remove snow from your roof, it will do more harm to it. It can cause corrosion and you can consider replacing your roof in no distant time.
  • Do not accumulate snow in the weak part of your roof. Leaving loads of snow on the wall section of your roof can damage it. The roof will get weaker from the weight of the snow. If it happens often, that section of the roof might just give in one day.
  • Do not clog fire escapes and drainages with snow. Ensure to drop the snow on the floor and not clog up spaces.
  • If you can get someone to assist you, it is advisable to do so.


If you have the right information, getting rid of the snow on your roof is not as difficult as it might seem. The methods and tips shared here are effective for getting the job done without trouble. You can use a rope, wire, roof rake, or other materials to get rid of the snow on your roof. While there are several tips to guide you, ensure that you do not use metal shovels on your roof.

If you’re not fully equipped to safely remove snow from your roof, it’s best to call a professional service like Roof Royale to help you with any snow and ice problems you have this winter.

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