For many of us throughout the entire state of Minnesota, the snow is really piling up this winter. We have now had a record-breaking amount of snow. While many outdoor enthusiasts are loving all the white stuff for recreational purposes, for homeowners and even renters, just trying to get around has been a bit of a hassle.

Yes, it is the middle of March but we all know that we can still get snow in April and so some precautions need to be made. If you own a home, I would assume most people have taken a look up at their roof after a big snowfall on their house, garage, and outbuildings.

With all of the snow, a couple of concerns might weigh on building owners' minds. The first worrisome thing is ice dams that may ruin your home interior. And if the snow is getting stacked up on your roof, the weight can put a lot of pressure on the structure itself. So, how do you have any idea when is the time to call someone to clean off your roof or to do it yourself?

According to, here are some warning signs:

  • Visible sagging along the roof line
  • Cracks in ceilings or walls
  • Popping or creaking noises
  • Difficulty opening windows and doors

This can be tricky because many houses, especially older ones, tend to settle over time. This can lead to some of the same symptoms, so a visual check of your roof is helpful as well.

It might be best to avoid waiting for these warning signs, however. While people think of snow as light and fluffy, it can carry a lot of weight. While the weight can depend on a few factors, a structural engineer who commented on the Miller Hill Mall roof collapse explained that snow could easily get to 50 pounds per square foot if it starts getting deep.


Imagine how many square feet you have across your entire roof, and do the math. That's a lot of weight! If you start seeing the snow getting over a foot deep on your roof, it might be time to start thinking about snow removal.

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Once you have decided that the snow needs to be removed you have options. One is hiring a professional. The last thing you want to do is fall off your roof or a ladder. If you do decide to do it yourself, never do it alone. Make sure your ladder is steady and secure, and if possible, secure or anchor yourself to something like a chimney.

Photo: Absolutely Clean Window Washing Via YouTube
Photo: Absolutely Clean Window Washing Via YouTube

When I owned my home, I was lucky in that I was able to use a roof rake, but it was very cumbersome and I had to be extra careful not to tug away at any of the shingles. If you do choose a professional, make sure they are bonded and insured just like anyone else you would hire to do work around your home.

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