February 11, 2013

Safety tips when clearing snow off roofs

From staff reports and The Associated Press

On the heels of the weekend blizzard, Monday’s forecast called for rain, which will be soaked up by the snow and could threaten snow-laden roofs with added weight. Flat or slightly pitched roofs are at the most risk.

Here are some tips for safely removing snow and staving off a roof collapse, some taken from Roofer911.com:

Evaluate the situation. If the roof is steep or angled even slightly, it is best to not get out onto it. You may want to do your shoveling from the ground using a telescoping roof rake.

If you determine that your roof is stable and flat and you feel comfortable enough walking out onto it, do so very carefully. Wear thick-soled insulated boots with gripping bottoms and warm clothing that keeps you dry but also gives you a wide range of motion. Use a safety rope, attached to something above where you are working.

Using a lightweight shovel with a telescoping handle, shovel the snow off of the roof gently. Never shovel all the way to the roof’s surface, because it is easy to nick or scratch the roof’s coating. Shovel down to within an inch of the surface for best results.

If you have to climb a ladder, first make sure the ladder is placed in a safe, stable area away from ice and power lines. Wear boots to avoid slipping.

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