Tips for removing rooftop snow safely

This is a recording of the TV6 Early News.
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 4:23 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - With the heavy lake effect snowfall, you may be tempted to climb on your roof and shovel the snow.

Dan Perkins, president of Dan Perkins Roofing encourages you to avoid removing the snow yourself. But if you have to, there are a few things to know.

“A snow scoop is kind of the quickest way to push it and you should push it so you’re not dumping it in front of your doors. If you can work back and forth from the top to the cable ends. It will keep a pile in front of you so you’re not sliding off the edge,” Perkins said.

Perkins also advises you to wait, the amount of snow we have is not enough to account for removal.

“There are 90 lbs. per square foot dead loads up here in the Upper Peninsula, that’s the code. That means you can take 5 feet of snow and handle it. Unless you see stress cracks in your ceiling or doors that aren’t closing, you’re probably fine,” Perkins said.

And for many, removing snow can break a sweat. Marshfield Medical Center- Dickson Cardiologist Clayton Shaker recommends people listen to their bodies while shoveling.

“If we have symptoms of chest pressure, shortness of breath, anything that is concerning when we exert ourselves, we need to follow up with our doctor. We need to ask questions about what can be done and if these things don’t feel normal, they need to be evaluated,” Shaker said.

Following up with a doctor is especially important in the event of having a cardiac episode.

“When someone has an out-of-hospital arrest like this it’s really important to have seen their doctor before that so us medical professions can operate at the best capacity,” Shaker said.

Another safety tip when removing rooftop snow is to be aware of the weather and condition of your roof.