Tips for Removing Snow and Ice From Your Garage Roof

Blue Sky Builders garage roof snow damage preventionThose who grew up in Illinois or the Midwest are accustomed to winter weather and all of the snow and ice it can bring during this time of year. Frigid temperatures can cause a variety of problems, such as burst pipes in homes, office buildings, or warehouses. Whether you are a homeowner or another type of property owner, trying to mitigate the negative impact of Mother Nature can be challenging. Proper drainage can limit the chance of any damage, but it is also important to remove snow and ice from your house or garage roof before it becomes a problem. In some cases, water damage can result in expensive repairs, such as replacing a ceiling or drywall or even a vehicle that was in the garage. 

Winter Weather Damage

The biggest reason for keeping your house and garage roof free of as much snow as possible is that it is crucial for preventing ice dams, which can cause leaks inside your home and garage. Precipitation such as rain or snow that does not have a place to drain will build up and freeze once the temperatures drop. When the sun hits it and it gets warmer, that ice turns to water, which has nowhere to go. This often results in water coming through the shingles and siding and inside your garage.

Equally as important, snow removal will keep the excess weight of snow off of your roof. In general, one square foot of snow that is one inch thick weighs approximately one pound. Therefore, 12 inches of snow could easily place thousands of pounds of stress on your roof. That is excluding the weight of any ice dams that may have formed as a result of a heavy snowfall. One cubic foot of ice weighs approximately 57 pounds, so a standard-sized ice dam can weigh thousands of pounds. Reducing the stress placed on your roof is the best way to minimize the risk of leaks and the ceiling caving in.

Take a Load Off

A good rule of thumb is to clear your garage or house roof when there is at least six inches of snowfall. Removal of the white stuff can be performed with a roof rake or a shovel. Which tool you use depends largely on several factors, such as the following:

  • Your roof’s square footage
  • Your garage’s height
  • How much snow is on the roof at any given time
  • Whether the snow is light and powdery versus heavy and wet

A rake may not be long enough to reach the tallest points of your roof, but you can add extension poles to make it longer. Similar to a rake used for leaves, this device pushes the snow off of the roof and overhangs. Shovels might work better for heavier snow, since they can retrieve a large amount at once.

Another alternative to roof snow removal is the use of heat cables. These can prevent snow from piling up on the roof, primarily on the overhangs and in the valleys. The cables radiate heat so the snow melts before it can build up or form ice dams.

Contact a DuPage County Custom Garage Professional

Just as you would maintain your house, it is just as important to protect your garage from the outside elements. The harsh Illinois winters can damage your garage’s siding and roof unless you take steps to prevent this from happening. A knowledgeable Chicago area garage specialist can help you determine the best materials to use on your garage so it withstands all four seasons. The qualified team at Blue Sky Builders has over 40 years of experience building garages of all shapes, sizes, and styles. To learn more about the services we offer, schedule a free estimate by calling us today at 630-852-8485.


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