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Cleaning roofs of country houses from snow and ice


Cleaning the roof from snow and ice seems to us a simple matter, but quite often such work turns into real hard labor. How to properly remove ice and snow from the roof, we will tell in our article, where we have collected the best tips and mentions about what gross errors can be made.

Frosty winter is snowing the roofs of houses and garages, awnings and gazebos, and very often the snow is soft and fluffy, and you can just brush it off with a special tool or even a regular broom. But it is very difficult to cope with layers of snow and ice that are frozen on the surface of the roof and are ready to cause irreparable harm to summer houses. Today we decided to analyze in detail several difficult cases and help each summer resident to get rid of the problem of a large amount of rainfall in different forms on the roofs.

Standard methods

The work is dangerous and difficult, because in addition to low temperatures in the street and huge chances to freeze, the danger of injury is also increased due to the fact that the surfaces are very slippery. You should be extremely careful in cases when taking actions from the ground, when you put a ladder or table to get to the roof, as well as when working on the roof itself.

How to clear the roof of snow?

A gazebo, a greenhouse or some other small building, which can be approached from any direction, convenient for carrying out such work. It’s enough for us to take a mop or broom and drive a heavy layer of snow down from the roof. This should be done gradually, avoiding the accumulation of a large amount of snow and ice in small areas of the roof. It is advisable to work slowly so as not to damage the surface of the roof, not to scratch it and not to pierce it. The snow that was dumped on the ground should be moved away from the building, so as not to get dirt and puddles underfoot in the spring.

But what to do when, due to wind, severe frost and rain, an ice crust has formed on the surface, which can no longer be brushed off with a broom? How to remove ice and snow masses that put huge weight on the structure? Let's try to apply all the knowledge and experience in this field!

Special cleaning tool

If the roof is hard, for example, slate or tile, you should climb the roof (thinking first about your own safety and insurance), and try to work with a special tool. These are small ice axes, scrapers, hard brooms. Be very careful, because any uncertain movement can spoil the roof or leave an unpleasant mark on the surface.

The ice should be removed in parts, cleaning, say, in turn each square meter of the surface. Gently prying the ice from below, raise it and let it fall by inertia down from the roof. You should not raise pieces of ice with your hands, as this is traumatic and will increase the chances of spoiling the roof if, for example, you drop a large icicle or block.

The tool will help to clean the roof, but only if you work correctly and without nerves, ensuring complete safety. The idea is complex, but extremely necessary.

Salt and special chemicals for cleaning snow and ice

We have repeatedly heard the advice of people who use special chemistry or ordinary salt to solve the problem. One has only to scatter a certain amount of the proposed preparation on the surface, and after a few hours the ice and snow will turn into water and simply flow down the slope of the roof. This is so, but there is a huge chance to harm the roof, because salt corrodes even metal, imagine then what it can do with tiles. The chemistry that the roads are strewn with is not intended for this, since it can leave not only traces in the form of spots, but also organize corrosion of the roofing material.

In working with similar drugs, and even with ordinary salt, you should study the instructions and the possibility of exposure, and only then begin to act.

Remember that even ordinary kitchen salt easily spoils the rubber of a car, the soles of shoes and even metal, and therefore it should definitely not be used to clean the ondulin or bitumen tiles from ice.

Snow and ice warming up

One of the interesting methods of solving the problem is heating the roof so that all the ice on the surface simply melts and the glass is down. But this method is possible only in the case of cleaning a canopy or roof, say, in a greenhouse or arbor, where there is direct access to its internal surface. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to heat the roof.

The simplest method is considered to be heating with a building hairdryer or burner, but think about how safe it is for you and the roof itself.

A hairdryer will help to slowly warm up the roof so as not to get a sharp temperature drop and cracks in the material, but you will work with it for a very long time. A burner with an open fire is not exactly what the wooden beams in the gazebo or polycarbonate in the greenhouse will like.

So, of these two methods, again, none of us are completely suitable, which means that you should think carefully before picking up a burner or hairdryer!

Cleaning the surface from frost with hot water

Perhaps the safest and most harmless way, but it has many nuances.

  • Firstly, not everyone has enough hot water in the country, and it will have to be constantly heated.
  • Secondly, the water drains and forms ice underfoot in a few minutes in severe frost, and therefore the safety of the work is called into question!
  • Thirdly, the water supply should be as continuous as possible, otherwise you can get the opposite result, and even a lot of heavy and dangerous icicles on the roof.

The ideal option is to supply water to the roof from a hose, from a centralized water supply. Then snow and ice are washed off gradually and to zero. The only thing you get after such a cleaning is a thin icing of the roof, but this is not hundreds of kilograms of ice.

This cleaning method is great for soft roofs, the same bituminous tiles or ondulin, which cannot be cleaned with a special tool!

Campfire heating and canopy cleaning

Those who faced the problem received advice from a neighbor or friend to warm the roof from the inside with the heat of a fire. Strange, but it works, but only with open awnings, and not with garages and greenhouses.

A small fire is laid out under the canopy, where thick logs are burned, the coals of which can hold the temperature for a long time. By the time of smoldering, say, a few armfuls of firewood, the roof will warm up in the place under which there was a fire, and the ice on the surface will begin to melt. At this moment, the fire should be moved, then again and again.

The method really works, but it requires a lot of effort and attention, because you should not joke with fire !!! Moreover, you need to constantly adjust the height of the fire, which can spread to the building. Be careful!!!

So, the safest way to get rid of the problem is hot water. A few bottles will not save the roof from icing, but a powerful coil of hose for 2-3 hours will help to resolve the issue efficiently and safely.

Before cleaning the roof, first determine whether there is ice or snow on the surface, be sure to remember and consider the roofing material when choosing a method, and also choose for yourself a cleaning method that is the most practical and safe in your case.

Cable systems for melting ice and snow

The most correct and practical way to get rid of a layer of snow and ice is to install special cable systems, by heating the roof which solve the problem very quickly. But today we do not discuss the topic of cable heating of the roof, since we are not talking about installing a new roof and introducing modern technologies, but about a problem that is already taking place. We will definitely consider similar systems in the future!

Original ideas of cleaning the roof from snow (video)

In the near future, we intend to share with you interesting ideas that we have tried on ourselves and our summer cottages, but we also expect your activity, because it is very interesting to know how country residents remove snow on their sites, how to build barbecues and stoves, repair fences and decorate landscape. Welcome to the comments of each article to continue the conversation !!! We recommend finding out when the snow is good and when the disaster is.


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