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Roof Snow Removal Cost Guide - Pricing, Dangers, and Tips

Last Updated: September 27, 2023

Roof Snow Removal Prices #

  • Simple hand shoveling - $150-$300 for a small 1,500 sq ft single story roof
  • Snow blowers - $200-$500 for a standard two story home 2,000-3,000 sq ft roof
  • Heavy equipment such as loaders or lifts for commercial buildings - $500 and up, depending on size and snow amounts.

Here are the price ranges for roof snow removal:

Roof Snow Removal Cost Calculator #

We created this cost calulator so you can easily see how much it will cost you to have snow removed from your roof.

Roof Snow Removal Cost Examples #

  • A homeowner in Colorado paid $250 to have a roofer shovel snow off their 1,800 sq ft single story ranch style roof after 18 inches of snow fell.

  • A person in Massachusetts was charged $425 for snow removal from their 2-story colonial home with a steeply pitched roof and 2,500 sq ft roof area after heavy wet snow accumulated.

  • A business owner in Minnesota paid $725 for a roofer to use a snow rake to clear over 3 feet of snow from their commercial building's flat roof covering 5,000 sq ft.

  • A contractor in Illinois paid $1,200 for a team to use shovels and a snow blower to clear snow accumulating over several days from a large industrial warehouse roof covering 10,000 sq ft.

  • A hospital administrator in New York state paid $8,500 to have heavy snow cleared from their facility's main entrance and emergency room access points using a small loader and shovels after a major blizzard.

  • A shopping plaza owner in Maine paid $15,000 for roof snow removal from the entire 150,000 sq ft property using heavy equipment and teams of shovelers over several days during a series of winter storms.

The examples illustrate snow removal costs ranging from a few hundred dollars for smaller homes up to thousands for large commercial roofs depending on the roof size, snow totals, pitch/access, and equipment required.

How Much Snow Can Roofs Handle? #

There is no definitive "safe" amount of snow that roofs can handle. It depends on several factors:

  • Roof design - Pitched roofs shed snow more easily than flat roofs. Roofs with higher load capacities can manage more snow weight.

  • Snow weight - Light, powdery snow weighs less than dense, wet snow. 1 foot of powder may weigh 5-20 lbs per sq ft. 1 foot of wet snow may weigh 20-50 lbs per sq ft.

  • Drainage - Good drainage and no ice dams allow melting snow to run off before accumulating. Poor drainage increases loads.

  • Drifting - Wind blown snow that accumulates in drifts adds disproportionate weight in those areas.

  • Exposure - Solar exposure melts snow during the day, which can refreeze into ice at night. Lack of sun keeps snow loads higher.

As a general guideline:

  • Flat roofs should be cleared after 8-12 inches of fluffy snow or 4-6 inches if wet heavy snow.

  • Pitched roofs may be okay with 12-18 inches of light snow but consider removal at over 6 inches of wet snow.

Always clear accumulated ice dams, areas of drifting, or slides as soon as possible. Be proactive about roof snow removal rather than reactive to prevent collapses.

Dangers of Leaving Snow on Your Roof #

Leaving heavy snow accumulation on your roof can lead to some significant problems:

  • Roof Damage - The weight can cause buckling, bending, or even collapse of the roof deck or trusses. This can lead to very costly repairs.

  • Leaks & Water Damage - Melting snow that refreezes as ice dams can back up under shingles and cause leaks, water damage, and mold.

  • Icicles & Falling Snow - Long hanging icicles or sliding snow are dangerous to people and property below.

  • Lack of Insulation - Compacted snow reduces insulation value, increasing heat loss and ice dam risks.

  • Emergency Access Issues - Heavy snow burial can block doors, windows, vents, and prevent roof access in an emergency.

Safely removing snow buildup protects your roof, interior, landscaping, and most importantly - people.

Be proactive rather than reactive to avoid damage and hazards. You are responsible if someone is injured from ice or snow falling from your roof.

Snow Collapsed Roof

DIY Roof Snow Removal #

You can attempt to tackle roof snow removal on your own. There are special roof snow rakes available on the market made just for this job.

If the snow is fresh you will have an easier time with this kind of product. If the snow is wet and heavy you may have trouble getting the proper leverage from the ground using a 16' to 24' extension pole.

Many people use a regular snow shovel that costs $15 to $35 and a ladder and actually climb up on their roof to do the job.

This can be a dangerous job as the roof could be slick. Roofs are tough enough to walk on in the summertime when they're clean and dry.

Many people hire a professional roof snow removal company to do the job.


Use Our Free Service and Compare Snow Removal Companies Near You #

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