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Roof Snow Removal Safety Tips

snow covering rooftop and chimneyThe heavy snow and extremely cold temperatures have not only made any form of transportation in the Northeast a nightmare, but it has also contributed to additional worries at homes, businesses and schools. Along with having trouble with the snow removal on the roads, a lot of people are founding common ground in the woes of snow removal and accumulation on roofs.

There have been about 71 building collapses in Massachusetts over the last week or so. Some schools have been forced to dismiss students before the anticipated February vacation week due to unsafe conditions. “We cannot safely have students, staff and community members in our schools without roofs being cleared,” Somerville officials said in a statement. This early release for students only adds on to the already accumulated school closing days that have been caused by the latest snow storms and blizzards.

In Newburyport, Massachusetts, 70-80 residents were displaced from their residence after a condo’s roof partially collapsed. The condo was occupied at the time but no injuries were reported. With the already record breaking amount of snow in New England and more to come, residents need to take preventative measures and stay proactive when it comes to taking care of the snow removal on roofs.

Safety Measures Roof Snow Removal

  • Try not to do it alone. Always have someone below the roof to keep foot traffic away from locations where falling snow or ice could cause injuries.
  • Don’t try to clear the roof during period of high winds.
  • Do not use mechanical snow removal equipment or sharp tools while removing the snow.
  • Avoid garage roofs and outbuildings. Chances are these structures were built with more lenient standards and therefore are more prone to collapsing.
  • The safest tool to use to try and remove snow on roofs is a roof rake. This will allow you to safely remove the snow while still being on the ground.

For more safety tips and instructions on removing snow from roofs visit the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency website. It is imperative that safety be the number one priority on everyone’s mind as we deal with the less than perfect conditions that we are currently facing. After all, we are expecting to get another batch of snow and ice through the weekend, which of course will only make conditions worse – not only for the roads, but also for the accumulated snow on the roofs. If you hadn’t heard, we’re sorry to the messengers; snow at this point should be considered a bad word, perhaps a four-letter word one should not speak of.

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