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So for the best part of the year the UK does not have massively concerning weather. However during the winter months, the northern half of the country will often suffer some snowfall, and every few years the south joins in with more than its fair share of white stuff. Taking steps to ensure you are ready for snow, and knowing when you really need to be removing any settlings can help ensure you do not suffer any crisis damage at a time when you least want repair works going on and livestock or crop storage disrupted.

We have prepared a winter roof care checklist for you, and have some helpful tips to keep your roofing healthy this year – even if it snows.

When to remove snow?

In all honestly there is no need to be clearing snow every five minutes, however the heavier the snowfall the more chance of damage, and potentially roof collapse if you have an older previously damaged roof. Standard guidelines suggest that snow should be removed from roofs if it is:

a) 4 foot or more of dry snow
b) 2 foot or more of wet and heavy snow or ice

Leaving snow means that as it thaws, (and remember the under layer of snow, sitting closest to the roof, will melt as any heat generated inside the structure from animals or heating sources will of course rise) water will trickle in between sheets or tiles and the expand again on refreezing causing potential damage down the line.

How to safely remove snow

Obviously if you decide to remove snow accumulation you must take care. Your safety must come first and if you have any damage and try and stand or walk on the roof, you could fall off or through. The safest way is to use a snow rake. A long pole with a piece of flat aluminium attached at a 90 degree angle. These can be purchased or made, but are the safest way to remove snow and cause minimal damage to the roof itself.

Inspect the roof

Before the snow comes use this helpful checklist to inspect your roof

  • Check for blockage in drains/gutters and downpipes
  • Check for any loose bent or cracked drains/gutters and downpipes
  • Are any metal components deteriorated or rusted
  • Are beams/columns/joists deteriorated or rusted
  • Are beams/columns/joists bent or cracked
  • Any visible damage to the roof surface
  • Any issues with flashing
  • Any gaps or issues with window sealing
  • Any holes bigger than 2 inches
  • If there is a water supply have the pipes been protected

Hopefully these tips will help you keep your roofs in tip top condition this winter