Flat Roofing Snow Removal

A home with a flat roof.
  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 20-60
What You'll Need
De-icing spray
Snow shovel
Broom or snow scraper
Safety boots
A-frame ladder

The lack of incline on flat roofing makes it possible for snow to collect on the surface, rather than to slide off as it should. This can result in the roof being forced to bear additional weight, which can result in damage or even collapse of the entire structure. It is essential to be able to remove the snow efficiently to prevent these problems from occurring.

Step 1 - Clear Area

Inspect the ground level area around the perimeter of the flat roofing that needs to be cleared of snow. Remove any items that may be damaged by falling snow to temporarily store them in a separate location for the duration you are working. If possible, cordon off the area to prevent accidents from occurring by stopping people walking beneath a risky area.

Step 2 - Lift Excess

Place the ladder to enable you to climb it safely while carrying the necessary equipment. Use a shovel to lift piles of snow that have been deposited on flat roofing rather than sweeping it off. Make sure you have sufficient room to maneuver your body to enable you to dump the snow on the ground. Avoid letting the shovel scrape the roof surface by laying it as flat as possible. This step will prevent too much weight being borne by any single part of the flat roofing by a large quantity of snow. Move over the entire surface of the roof to remove as much as possible.

Step 3 - Sweep Surface

Sweep away the remnants of the snow on the roof after removing the excess. Stand where you will be able to drag the broom toward and past you to sweep the snow to the ground below, rather than pushing it across the surface. Push the snow off the closest edge to where you are standing where you are able to move across the roof. Avoid applying too much pressure to the roof during this process to ensure that you do not inadvertently cause damage.

Step 4 - Apply De-Icing Spray

Apply de-icing spray to the surface of the flat roofing in the event that you discover it is affected by ice. This method must be used instead of attempting to break up the ice to avoid causing any cracks or tears in the roofing material. Read the instructions before applying the solution and leave it in place to settle for the length of time stipulated. Once the ice has melted and loosened, sweep it free from the roof to prevent it from getting the opportunity to refreeze. It is also prudent to apply the spray to the edges of the roof where ice can form and cause damage to the guttering when it expands.

Step 5 - Finish

Sweep the gutters free of any ice, snow, and debris that may have gathered to avoid them becoming clogged. Make sure that you have cleared any equipment used from the roof before descending the ladder.