In winter, take care of your roof

In winter, take care of your roof

During wintertime, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your rooftop to avoid damage caused by temperature variations.

When should i shovel the snow off the roof?

The Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) recommends removing snow when it reaches depths of about 70 cm (28 in.). Moreover, snowfall combined with rain makes the snow a lot heavier, which puts a tremendous burden on the roof’s structure. You don’t have to remove all the snow, you can easily leave up to 15 cm (6 in.) without any problem.

Can I do it myself or should I hire a specialist?

We suggest you get a specialist for the job, with the right equipment and technique to do the job safely. This way you’ll avoid injury, either to yourself or passersby, damaging electrical wires around your house, or even electrocuting yourself! Moreover, before hiring someone for the job, make sure they have the appropriate insurance (liability insurance) and ask for a quote first to avoid unpleasant surprises when it comes time to pay.

However, if you choose to remove the snow yourself, here are a safety tips to follow:

Use a harness, tie yourself to a secure anchor.

  • Don’t use metal tools, as they can damage the roofing material.
  • Use plastic tools instead, especially shovels with extendable handles for reaching up to the roof from ground level.
  • Put up a safety perimeter around your home so that passersby aren’t hit by falling snow.
  • Clear the roof ventilators and plumbing outlets.
  • Go at your own pace. Shovelling snow is strenuous work. You don’t want to risk injury or a heart attack.

What about temporary car shelters?

Remove the snow from your temporary car shelter after a heavy snowfall. They aren’t made to hold snow and must be cleared often to avoid collapse. But be careful! Never remove the snow from inside the shelter. In case of collapse, you could be seriously injured, even crushed under the weight of the snow.

Signs of possible roof collapse:

  • Cracks appearing on walls and ceilings
  • Inside doors that rub, jam or close badly
  • Unusual cracking noises
  • Deformes ceiling