During the winter season, there is plenty of snowfall. As you watch your neighbors blow snow from their roofs, you notice that some are shoveling snow. How do they know when to shovel the roofs?

In Denver neighborhoods, residents do many rituals ranging from shoveling snow off roofs to checking for ice dams. One of the most bizarre, though, is knowing when to shovel the snow off and when to check for ice dams. There are homeowners who go all out and shovel their roofs to the ground, removing all the snow entirely. Some homeowners choose a less cumbersome method, such as only shoveling the edge of their roofs to prevent ice dams from forming. You can’t just pick one roof style from your neighborhood and do what everyone else does. It’s a little bit more complicated than that, of course.

a man cleans snow BAQHT
A man cleans snow from sidewalks with snowblower.

If you live in Denver and are totally unsure how to deal with the overload of snow on your roof, we have some good news for you. For your convenience, we’ve compiled some signs, so you know exactly when you need to clear the snow.

What Is the Maximum Amount of Snow My Roof Can Handle?

The majority of homes are built to withstand a heavy roof snow load without any problems throughout the entire winter season. Because of this, you probably won’t have to worry about clearing snow off your roof. Building code requirements dictate that residential roofs be built to tolerate the heaviest snowfalls in a given region. In this case, your home and roof should be fine, assuming that they were built and installed properly.

What Are the Signs That There Is a Weight Problem?

There are, however, rare exceptions to this rule. There may be a problem with the roof’s construction, or it may be very old. Maybe there has been so much snow that the roof has been damaged by an excessive accumulation. Wet snow can be extremely heavy. Having flat roofs will make it harder for you to hold your roof up during snowfall. Steeper roofs usually allow snow to slide more easily.

Examining the interior of your home can help you determine if the snow on your roof is excessive and potentially problematic. On the top floor, look for the doors nearest the center of the home. Usually, these are doors in bedrooms, attics, and closets. Whenever you notice that they are sticking or becoming difficult to open and close, this is a snow weight problem that needs to be addressed promptly.

Should I Take Snow Off My Roof?

Consider how deep the accumulation is before removing it. Snow shouldn’t accumulate more than 2 feet deep on a roof. This is what most roof warranties suggest. Depending on your local snow/ice removal company, they may suggest keeping snow depth at six inches to avoid ice dams. If you find yourself having trouble removing snow off your roof, don’t climb it right away to rake them off. This is dangerous, especially when there’s so much snow. Without the right experience and tools, you could slip and fall and will cause severe injuries. It’s best to call experts when dealing with this matter.

When Should I Worry About Snow on My Roof?

Snow accumulation on a roof is a very dangerous situation if you don’t remove it as soon as possible. If and when snow fall occurs, be sure to watch out for hanging icicles and ice dam formation around your home. This can happen after heavy snow falls or just because your roof isn’t particularly steep. Even if you don’t notice anything strange visually, some parts of your home may make strange noises to indicate that your roof has too much snow. This could probably damage your house’s interior.

We’ll discuss how these factors affect your roof during snow fall.

Low-Pitched Roofs

As winter progresses, a flat and shallow pitch roof is particularly prone to snow accumulation and drifting. Typically, a flat roof will need to be plowed more often than those with a steeper slope.

After Heavy Snowfall

Whether you’ve just experienced a heavy snowfall or been enduring a steady snowfall for a few days, it’s wise to check your roof for snow accumulation. It is generally recommended that you clear your roof following a snowfall of 6 inches. It’s easiest to remove fresh snow that’s just fallen on your roof.

Hanging Icicles, Ice Dams, & Roof Ice Buildup

It is very dangerous to let icicles hang on your roof or allow ice buildup to develop. Ice on the roof not only weighs five times as much as snow per square foot, but it can also tell you that you have a more serious problem in the house. Hanging icicles only melts on its own if it is either warmed by the sun or if the heat on the home escapes.

When the water falls to the lowest spot on the roof, it often freezes as icicles in the winter, creating ice dams. The refreezing of water creates an ice dam which becomes even bigger after the refreezing. When an ice dam is constantly fed by snow melting and refreezing ice melt, it can lead to significant roof damage and interior damage to the house.

It’s quite common for water to trickle through cracks in your roof as the snow melts. Ceilings, roofs, and infrastructure can rot or warp as a result of water damage. It is obvious that water damage has taken place within your home when brown stains appear throughout. This provides an indication that it is time to clear the roof of snow.

Weird Sounds from Your Home

If you hear unusual sounds, such as crackling, creaking, popping, or similar, you should trust your home. If this happens, your roof has too much snow.

When You Notice Ice Dams

When melted snow and ice refreeze around the edge of your roof, ice dams form. Even your shingles may be affected by these blockages, causing leakage into your walls, ceiling, and insulation. Ice dams can also lead to a roof collapse in the worst-case scenario.

Damages Inside Your Home

Is your ceiling warped, or have there been water spots there? Is your drywall showing signs of cracking? Is there a gap when your doors are closed, or do they rub against their frames? Then you may be underestimating the amount of snow that builds up on your roof. Make sure the snow is cleared from your roof right away, and call in a professional for an assessment.

What should you do after you see a large accumulation of snow on your roof? Should you shovel it? No way! Snow shoveling on your roof can be dangerous. A slippery roof can cause you to slip and fall, leaving you with serious injuries throughout the winter.

If you’re good at shoveling your driveway, it takes more training and equipment to remove snow from your roof. In order to shovel snow off your roof, you should use roof rakes, like the SnowPeeler. With a roof rake, you’ll look forward to working on the roof!

Shoveling After the Snow Stops


Having to shovel only once will save money and time

Extreme temperatures are less likely to occur

Save time

Snow will act as a barrier to freezing rain if it comes after snow. A barrier like this can help prevent ice, which is difficult to remove, from gathering on your driveway/sidewalk.

If it’s windy, it might be best to wait for the winter storm to pass before shoveling. A strong wind can blow snow back onto driveways. It is possible that your driveway will still have snow on it once you finish shoveling.


Shoveling excessive snow accumulations all at once will be difficult

Leaving snow to accumulate from cars, people, etc. will increase its chances of getting compacted

It could be dangerous to walk on your driveway or sidewalk if you wait too long to shovel

Shoveling During Snow Fall


Snow can be shoveled at once less often.

Prevent injuries from lifting excessively heavy snow

Decrease the chances of ice forming at the base

Accidents caused by slipping may be prevented

Avoid getting cars stuck in driveways

Allows you to spread salt as the snow falls


A very little amount of accumulation of snow makes it impractical to shovel more than once

Greater likelihood of slipping if shoveling twice or more

Multiple shoveling jobs per day may expose a person to frigid temperatures

You may find it exhausting

What Is the Difference Between Removing Snow Myself and Hiring a Professional?

It is almost always best to call in professional snow removers when dealing with the roof in the winter. It is very dangerous to attempt roofing work when it is icy and snowy. People die each year by doing it themselves. Snow removal professionals use protective equipment that is specially designed for them. Saving a few hundred dollars at the cost of your life is not worth it. If you need to call the professionals to remove the snow, understand that they cannot remove all of it, just the snow that is excessively weighted. For the rest of the winter, you should keep the bottom layer of ice on your roof. It might be damaged seriously if removed, requiring costly repair.

If you have a one-story home and can remove the snow from the roof from the ground using a snow rake, you may be able to remove snow from the roof safely in the winter. If you decide to remove snow on your own, you run the risk of damaging the shingles and roof of your home. This could result in leaks and water damage. When you remove snow from your roof, don’t pull off the ice. You can remove some snow from the roof by sliding it off.

You should avoid attempting to remove snow from your roof yourself if you aren’t a snow removal professional. Having a professional roofer come out to get the snow removed for you is much safer because they can determine if you actually need snow cleared and if so, take care of the job without damaging your roof or house. Westside Grounds can assist you with snow removal services if you have questions or if you’re interested in Denver lawn care services.

Let Us Handle Your Yard and Roof Snow Removal

While it is totally understandable if you decide to remove the snow yourself from your roof, we urge you to be extremely cautious and contact Westside Grounds to handle the job for you. You ensure the safety of not only your roof and your home but also yourself and others by bringing in an expert. Roofs can suffer serious damage from snow and ice dams. We will ensure that any thawing and refreezing snow does not damage the roof.