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Why Professional Snow Removal is a Must!
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Why Professional Snow Removal is a Must!

Dec 14, 2016

With winter weather comes new issues to consider when protecting your roof from the elements. Frigid temperatures and snowstorms are on their way: are you prepared?

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, snowfall will be above average this winter for many parts of the northern United States. These states can expect colder temperatures and snowfall to last until mid-Spring. While many of us enjoy a snow day, we can’t forget about the roofs that protect us, our employees, and our customers from the elements.

Why is Roof Snow Removal Important?

It’s critical to remember that every roof was designed with a maximum load limit, meaning there is only so much weight the roof has been designed to hold safely. Any changes to the amount of weight your roof is supporting can lead to a roof collapse.

With that in mind, it’s important to know the potential weight of snow accumulation on your roof. Dry snow weighs on average 7 lbs. per cubic foot, while wet snow weighs anywhere from 12 to 18 lbs. per cubic foot. Twelve inches of snow from an impending storm can easily lead to thousands of pounds of stress on your roof.

This increased stress can lead to major building damage, potential roof avalanches, leaks, loss of productivity and even severe injury (or death) of your employees and/or customers. A snowstorm can turn tragic in an instant if you don’t have a proper plan for snow removal in place.

Why Can’t I Take Care of it Myself?

It may be tempting to try and remove the snow accumulation yourself, but one wrong step can easily lead to a decision you and your team will regret. There are many risks that go along with tackling the removal of snow on your roof. Some risks include damage to your roof as well as the potential for injury. By hiring a professional you can avoid:
• Damaging shingles, ballast, roof membrane, gutters, and the creation of leaks.
• Falls from roof edges, ladders, aerial lifts, roof collapse and through skylights.
• Shock and electrocution from accidental damage to extension cords and contact with power lines.
• Musculoskeletal injuries as a result of overexertion.
• Hypothermia or frostbite from freezing temperatures and windy conditions.

On top of the many risks involved with taking matters into your own hands, your company may also be subject to big fines if OSHA fall protection regulations are not properly followed.

When Should Snow Be Removed?

Contrary to popular belief it is not a good idea to wait as long as possible before having snow removed from your roof. Typically it is best to start clearing your roof when your roof load limit has reached 50% of its capacity, which could be with as little as 6 inches of snow. Don’t forget to take into account how heavy the snow is! Remember, wet snow can be twice as heavy as dry snow, if not more.

How do I Prepare for Snowy Weather?

The best way to avoid a potential winter roofing disaster is with preparation. Don’t wait for signs of an imminent collapse to take action. Rather, use the season before the snow to perform preventive maintenance on your roof, such as inspecting your roof for signs of damage, clogged gutters, or roof debris. Contact GSM Roofing if you still need to perform your seasonal preventive maintenance.

You can also prepare for snowy weather by securing a professional who – at the first sign of snow – will be ready to tackle your roof. GSM Roofing has the experience, equipment, and certifications necessary to properly handle any snow removal project safely and securely.

GSM Roof Snow Removal Plan:

The GSM Roof Snow Removal plan includes a comprehensive 8-point checklist that will determine the locations of high-impact snow removal areas, identify potential hazards and determine the best OSHA compliant safety equipment to use for snow removal. We start by investigating all vulnerable areas of the roof, such as drains, gutters, downspouts and areas of accumulated snow. We secure areas where the snow will be dumped from the roof, preventing access from unauthorized personnel. We will then remove the snow and clear any ice from your drains or gutters. Each step is performed by experienced, OSHA compliant GSM team members.

Be prepared this winter with a GSM Roofing Snow Removal Plan. Don’t put your people or your property at risk. Our experienced team is standing by to safely protect your roof as well as your customers and employees from the harsh winter weather.

Bonus: See our guys in action, removing snow from Tanger Outlets’ roof in Lancaster, PA.

Ready to talk about a roof snow removal plan? Contact us today.