Can I Power Wash the Snow or Ice Off My Roof?

Ernie Reed

Is Power Washing Snow off Your Roof a Good Idea?

NO! Okay, maybe that was a little too “short and sweet.” Perhaps I should back up and dive into a little more detail on this.

Frankly, many people wonder if they can use a power washer to blast the snow or ice off their roof. After all, at first glance, it makes some sense. Doesn’t water melt away snow? Yes it does. And hot water does it even faster! And wouldn’t the high pressure break up ice and get that off my roof? Yes it would. So a homeowner may think of using their little power washer to eliminate the snow or ice on their roof. Or, they may think of hiring a “professional” power washer to come and do it for them. Is it possible to use a power washer to get the snow or ice off your roof? Yes. You can certainly find videos on YouTube of those that have done it without damage to their home. But is it a good idea to do so? Not really. Why not?

A Better Way to Remove Snow From Your Roof!

Reason 1: Water is Very Heavy

There are a few reasons. One of them is weight. Water is very heavy. Every gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs. A small homeowner’s power or pressure washer may pump out 2.5 gallons of water per minute. A professional’s power washer will pump out 5, 8, or more gallons per minute. Let’s take the small 2.5 gallon/minute power washer as an example. For every minute, you are potentially adding about 20 lbs. of weight on your roof as the snow absorbs the water. You will also find videos on YouTube of roofs collapsing under all that weight. Is this going to be the likely scenario? No. But it can and does happen.

Reason 2: A Power Washer Can Easily Damage Your Roof

Let’s say you are very careful that the water is not accumulating on the roof and the weight will not be an issue. The next problem is that a power washer can easily damage your roof. Let’s say you’re using high pressure with a zero degree tip to blast off ice from your roof. Suddenly the ice breaks away and you hit your asphalt shingles with that high pressure water. Now you’ll be calling a local roofer to come fix your roof. Hopefully he’s willing to come in the middle of the winter!

There are other concerns which I’ll likely cover at another time, but I at least wanted to touch on these main ones. Bear in mind that there are safe and effective ways to get the snow and ice off your roof, but a power washer is not one of them.

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    Owner of Epic View Window Cleaning

    Ernie Reed Owner of Epic View Window Cleaning
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    Owner and Epic View Pro

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