Is Heavy Utah Snow Weighing You Down?

How about your roof?

Utah enjoys the “greatest snow on earth” unless it’s piled on the rooftop of your Salt Lake home and threatens to bring the walls down.

It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen – occasionally a Utah snowstorm blankets the mountains and valleys with a thick layer of wet, heavy snow (and then another, and another, and another). Snow is one of the attractions people love most about the Wasatch Front and Wasatch Back; however, snow buildup on our rooftops can lead to dire consequences.

Snow does not just present a safety issue but a potential threat to the integrity of your roof. During the day heat emanating up and out of your home can slightly melt the snow. By nightfall, that melted snow can seep between shingles and then refreeze. Can you guess what happens to those shingles after they freeze and refreeze? They crack and buckle.

A build-up of thick ice can actually create little natural dams on the roof causing water to pool and eventually leak into your house.

Sometimes the weight of snow alone can threaten a structure.

Delight in all that winter brings but be sure to keep your rooftop clean! Following are some tips for clearing your roof before it becomes a problem.

  1. Dress warm and prepare the proper equipment before you start. Wear a warm jacket and moisture-resistant gloves. I highly recommend spiked shoes or shoes with a deep tread designed to protect against slippage on wet or oily surfaces.
  2. Begin by using a rake to loosen and release deep snow. Stay aware of where you are standing at all times. Stand far enough away from the roof to avoid sudden shifts of snow. Most hardware stores sell rake extensions that make it possible to reach higher on the roof and remain a safe distance from danger zones. Pull the snow toward you with the rake, removing small amounts at a time so you can control where it lands.
  3. Never use a high ladder or climb on the roof alone. Make sure an adult spotter can see you at all times and is handy to hold the ladder for you when you climb up or down. Count on the spotter to hand you important tools such as a rake and snow shovel when you need it.
  4. Make sure you are in good physical health before attempting snow removal. Snow shoveling is a known trigger for heart attacks, according to Harvard Health Managing Editor P.J. Skerrett. Emergency rooms in the snow belt gear up for extra cases when enough of the white stuff has fallen to force folks out of their homes armed with shovels or snow blowers. Hire someone to remove the snow if you may be at risk of a heart attack or other health-related condition that could worsen with hard work.
  5. Leave some snow on your roof to protect its surface. All it takes is a thin coat to protect your home’s roof from tools used to remove heavy snow.
  6. Use a snow cutter for frozen crusty surfaces. A snow cutter is one of those handy tools everyone who enjoys a winter climate should have. It allows you to remove small sections of snow at a time. It makes the work faster and safer. A roof razor is a similar tool designed to help with this arduous task.

Love Utah winters? Why not make your new home here? I have a great inventory of Salt Lake homes for sale, Ogden homes for sale, Bountiful homes for sale, and Farmington homes for sale. Call me today at 801-673-3333, I’ll help you find just what you’re looking for.

Joel Carson - Utah's # real estate agent

Joel Carson is the President and Principle Broker of Utah Real Estate with over 30 years of experience buying and selling real estate in the greater Salt Lake City area.

Have questions? Call or text me at 801-673-3333

Article Last Updated: October 26, 2023

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