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01/25/2016
How To Remove Snow From Your Roof

Michaell Rodriguez

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Snow From Your Roof
 

While it's never a good thing to allow snow to accumulate on the roof of your home, a law passed in Massachusetts back in 2010 requires that all snow be removed from private property within six hours. Failing to remove the snow leaves the owner liable for lawsuits to any injured on their property be it a mailman or a family member. So if you're new to the state be sure to check with your local city's ordinance on snow removal before whipping out your shovel.

In the case Papadopoulos vs Target Corp., the plaintiff received injuries due to slipping on an icy patch in Target's parking lot in Davnvers, Massachusetts. He took his case to court and lost against Target however, an SJC took his appeal and abolished the old Massachusetts law pertaining to the distinction between natural and unnatural amounts of snowfall and ice formation.

This is why it is so important to make sure your property is clear of snow and ice accumulation. It's all about safety for everyone, even your own home. While the property owner is not responsible for clearing off snow on a public sidewalk according to Papadopoulos, they are responsible for making sure that snow is removed from their personal property in effort to make it safer for prospective visitors be them friend or foe. The theory is that by removing the snow it would help protect people when they come to visit your property.

Falling snow always varies and sometimes it's difficult to gauge just when is the right time to get up on the roof and remove what has accumulated there. As a general rule of thumb, if the roof is not damaged or decayed it will hold approximately 20 lbs per sq ft before your roof becomes stressed. About 10-12 inches of fresh snow is equivalent to one inch of water. This is roughly 5 lbs per square foot of your roof space. So in other words, you could have up to four feet of snow before the roof will become stressed. If the snowfall is older, about 3-5 inches of it is equal to about one inch of water, (again about 5 lbs per square foot of your roof space), anything more than 24 inches of old snow may easily overwhelm a roof. It's important to note too that if you've got an accumulation of both old and new snow the estimated weight would change. For example, even if you have two feet of old snow and two feet of freshly fallen snow, which could weigh as much as 60 lbs per sq ft of the space on your roof. Most roof designs cannot handle this kind of weight and will collapse on your home.

In Milton MA you have to worry about more than just snow but ice dam buildup as well. When roofs and attics are poorly insulted, especially in older homes, the heat leaks out and melts the snow and as the temperature drops at night the melted snow freezes resulting in ice dams. These dams can also form in your gutters. Ice dams are dangerous because they can freeze shingles and cause roofs to leak. This is why roof snow removal is so very important. If left unchecked the damage can be devastating. Be sure you double-check the slope on your roof. If it's greater than 3 inches in 12 inches of horizontal distance, melting snow will run off much more quickly.

Since ice dams can be dangerous it's best to have a snow removal contractor come out and do the work for you. These are trained professionals that can safely de-ice and remove snow buildup in a quick and efficient manner. Removing snow by yourself can result in injury or death if done incorrectly. Even if you're doing everything as safely as possible accidents can still occur. Leave ice dam and snow removal to the professionals. The average cost of snow ploughing or removal in Massachusetts is between $74.41 per hour for a residential visit. For snow blowing you can expect to pay about $83.40 per hour. This cost is minimal in comparison to the risk of losing one's life. Avoid personal injury and contact a professional snow removal contractor to clear off your roof before it's too late.