Ice Dams and Snow Load Dangers

Are you at risk of Ice Dams and Heavy Snow Load Dangers? What you need to know to keep your property safe. 

Once the snow begins to fall, it’s important to keep an eye on your roof, deck, and any other structures around your home or business for heavy snow buildup and ice dams. 

A heavy snow load on your roof can be dangerous, leading to serious problems like structure collapse (flat roofs are especially susceptible), injuries as a result of falling snow and ice, ice dams forming on roofs and gutters leading to water damage, and carbon monoxide poisoning which can result when chimneys and vents are blocked by snow and ice.

Helpful tips to avoid these potential problems. 

These potential issues are serious and can lead to further damage to the property or even personal injury. Here are some helpful tips to help prevent ice dams and heavy snow load on your property; 

  • Use a snow rake to clear your roof when possible, especially when clearing snow off of a metal roof
  • Know where the electrical lines are and stay clear of them with the snow rake
  • Be aware of the location of skylights and roof vents before removing snow
  • If you must get on the roof, move cautiously with the use of a safety harness on steeper slopes to prevent falls
  • If using a ladder, make sure to secure the footing, avoiding uneven or icy surfaces
  • If possible, when removing snow from a pitched roof, work with another person who remains on the ground
  • Leave 2 to 3 inches of snow on the roof to help avoid shingle damage when clearing snow and ice
  • Always shovel down the roof. Shoveling upward can cause shingle damage 
  • Remove snow from at least the bottom 4 feet of the slope and around valleys will help eliminate ice backup 
  • Install snow guards above entrances on metal roofs
  • Avoid using salt or chemical snow-melt products to melt any ice on the roof. These can erode shingles and gutters and potentially void the roofing manufacturer’s warranty
  • Stay hydrated and know your limits to prevent back and other physical injuries
  • If it looks like there are signs of damage due to snow build-up, call a qualified contractor to help remove the snow and stabilize the structure

Maintenance is key.

Remember, the best way to stay safe and prevent snow load and ice backup issues is to shovel your roof and other structures consistently throughout the winter months! Once the snow begins to fall, it’s important to keep an eye on your roof, deck, and any other structures around your home. Removing snow quickly and safely can help avoid ice buildup and collapse issues. 

For more helpful tips to keep your family and property safe, check out our blog at The Safe Zone