If you're a homeowner in this part of Minnesota, you're probably aware that you shouldn't allow snow to build up on your roof.  Accumulation of snow can cause all kinds of problems, especially if it's the heavy, wet kind that can put a stress on your roof.  But allowing snow to remain up there can also contribute to ice dam formation.  One of the things we get asked when we install metal roofing is what needs to be done with snow build-up on the roof. The first thing you should be aware of is that for the most part, snow slides off a metal roof, so it's unlikely that much will build up.  In fact, we usually install special snow guards over areas that get foot traffic, like entry and garage doors, sidewalks, and decks.  Those guards slow down the sheets of snow that slide off so large amounts don't come down like an avalanche on an unsuspecting person underneath.  That snow-shedding is just one of the benefits that have convinced homeowners in the Twin Cities to switch to metal roofing

But there are times that snow does build up in certain areas, depending on the configuration of your roof or if you've got a roof that's almost flat.  And just like with any other type of roof, if you do notice that snow is piling up on your metal roof, it should be removed.  Any substantial accumulation of snow is a source of potential problems.  As snow continues to fall, the weight can compress it, making it dense and heavier.  And since when metal roofs are installed correctly, the roof itself is cool underneath, making it less likely for the snow to melt.  So you end up with sheets of ice up there.  A warm day could send those ice chunks sliding down the roof, possibly taking out your gutters - or worse.

So we recommend periodic snow removal; a roof rake is the easiest method.  We DO NOT recommend you getting up on your roof to shovel it off.  It's dangerous to be up on a roof at any time if you're not trained in roofing work, but even more so in winter on metal.  Nor do we suggest you use snow-melting salt. Those chemicals weren't meant to be used on a roof.

If you're not comfortable removing the snow from your metal roof yourself, seek out the services of a professional.  But be sure to ask if they are experienced in snow removal on metal roofs, because you want to be sure they'll take proper care of your roof while they work.

Quarve Contracting, Inc., dba Metal Roofing & Siding of Minnesota, is a licensed roofing company serving the Twin Cities metro area.  Installation of steel and other metal roofs is our specialty.