Roof Snow Shoveling

Flat roofs and heavy snow can be a bad combination. Particularly if snow constantly falls on the same location, day after day. The more snow that accumulates, the harder it is for snow to find a way off the roof as it melts, especially if the roof drains are blocked.

Many building owners opt to hire workers who are inexperienced in flat roofing to take care of their flat roof snow shoveling needs. However, this can also be a bad combination, as workers unfamiliar with flat membrane roofs usually don’t realize how sensitive the membrane itself is to puncture damage. They typically shovel directly to the membrane, and sometimes even hit the membrane with pick axes to remove a bottom layer of ice! The result is that many holes are created in the membrane, every single hole being an opportunity for water to enter through once the snow melts.

Also, workers unfamiliar with membrane roofs don’t realize how slippery the membrane can be. Combine that with the typical strategy of “throw it off the edge”, and you have a deadly combination. Particularly with workers who are inexperienced with flat roofing safety.

And, do you think they have adequate insurance for roof work?

At Chaffee Roofing, with have developed a system that not only protects your roofing membrane, but is also safe for our workers. Our flat roof snow shoveling method is:

Step 1: Use a crane to bring an empty demolition bucket to the roof.

Step 2: Load the empty bucket with snow using only plastic shovels.

Step 3: Once the bucket is full, lift the bucket off the roof with the crane and lower it to the ground.

Step 4: Once the bucket is on the ground, clear out the snow.

Step 5: Use the crane to send the bucket back up to the roof!

When we have to clear out snow by the edge, we use 100% harness tie off past the safety lines. However, for the majority of the project, we remain at least 10’ in from the edge, inside the safety lines.

When it comes to flat roof snow shoveling, why risk it? Go with a company that knows roofing, is fully insured, and knows how to complete the job safely!