Keeping roofs snow free

Certainly everyone in the Upper Peninsula knows the value of snowblowing and shoveling driveways and sidewalks. Some may not realize that removing the snow from your roof can be just as important.

Shoveling snow is a pastime born out of necessity in the UP, and as much as the ground needs snow removal, so too do many roofs. A large snow load can cause a variety of problems, from cracking drywall to leaks caused by backed up water entering the home.

“You know you’ve got a significant snow load when your doors might be getting sticky, when they’re hard to open and close, and if you do have any drywall cracking up above.” said Randy Johnson, Owner and President of Johnson Glass Cleaning. “Some people have stated that they don’t sleep so well because they can hear a lot of creaking and crackling going on in their attic.”

Additionally, falling snow and ice can pose a hazard at entryways. Shoveling off a roof can be both dangerous and strenuous. Many homeowners choose to enlist the services of professionals like Johnson Glass Cleaning due to their experience and stockpile of equipment needed to do the job.

The process for removing snow evolves as it gets thicker.

“In the early season, you can get away with just using the scoops,” Randy added, “but once you get later in the season like this and the snow gets, you know, three feet deep in multiple layers and very compacted, then you need to take steel shovels and go along and kind of perforate lines.”

“For most roofs, we try to leave a one to two inch mat of snow to protect whatever kind of roofing material is on there,” said Cecilia Johnson, Office Manager at Johnson Glass Cleaning.

While the polar vortex has given many residents grief, the extreme cold does have one benefit.

“It’s been a plus, ’cause it keeps the snow very crystalline in form, almost like sugar,” said Randy. “So it moves relatively easy compared to where if you’re getting lots of warm-ups and thaws, then it’s more like trying to move mashed potatoes, and that’s much more difficult.”

With another polar vortex front headed our way, the fallen snow should remain crystalline as we head into March.