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How Much Does It Cost to Remove Snow from a Roof?

Low
$200
Average Cost
$500
High
$2,000
(12 inches of snow and/or ice removed from a flat 2,500 sq.ft. roof)

Get free estimates from snow removal service providers near you
Here's what happens next

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Snow from a Roof?

Low
$200
Average Cost
$500
High
$2,000
(12 inches of snow and/or ice removed from a flat 2,500 sq.ft. roof)

Get free estimates from snow removal service providers near you
Here's what happens next
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Answer a few questions
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Step 2
Find out how much your project will cost
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A light dusting of snow on your roof should not cause you to worry. If you have a roof with a low pitch, experience a great deal of snowfall during winter, or have a home that’s partial to developing ice dams, removing the snow from your roof periodically is a good idea. Snow removal helps prevent leaks, ice dams, roof deterioration, and even roof collapse.

Not every property needs the snow removed after each snowfall. Homeowners need snow removed when more than 12 inches of wet snow is at least partially frozen. The national average cost to remove 12 inches of snow from a 2,500 sq.ft. roof ranges from $300 to $700 with most homeowners paying around $500 to remove 12 inches of snow or ice from a roof that is flat and no larger than 2,500 sq.ft. Costs can be as low as $200 to remove snow from a flat roof that is smaller than 2,500 sq.ft. But costs could be as high as $2,000 if the roof is larger than 2,500 sq.ft. and/or is steeply pitched and structurally intricate.

Roof Snow Removal Prices

Roof Snow Removal Service
National average cost$500
Average range$300-$700
Minimum cost$200
Maximum cost$2,000


Updated: What's new?

Roof Snow Removal Cost by Project Range

Low
$200
12 inches of snow and/or ice removed from a flat 2,500 sq.ft. roof
Average Cost
$500
12 inches of snow and/or ice removed from a flat 2,500 sq.ft. roof
High
$2,000
More than 12 inches of compacted snow and ice removed from a roof that is larger than 2,500 sq.ft. and/or is steeply pitched

Roof Snow Removal Cost per Inches

On average, most roofs are safely able to withstand about 20 lbs per sq.ft. of snow before sustaining damage. This calculation means that you should not let your roof accumulate more than 12 inches of snow. Not only is it unsafe to allow more than a foot 1 of snow to sit on your roof, but more snow also means more cost. Although the amount of snow influences the average project cost, prices usually depend more on the roof’s size. Here is the cost of roof snow removal per inches of snow:


Roof Snow Removal Cost Chart

Roof Snow Removal Cost Chart


Inches of Snow on RoofCost (per 2,500 sq.ft. Roof)
12 inches$200 - $2,000
18 inches$250 - $2,050
24 inches$300 - $3,000
More than 24 inches$50 per each additional 6 inches


Roof Snow Removal Service per Square Foot

The cost for a professional to remove snow from your roof primarily depends on the size of your roof. The average American roof is 2,500 sq.ft. Roof shoveling prices include time for tedious, dangerous labor. You can expect that costs will reflect a high hourly rate ($90 to $100 per hour) to cover additional insurance costs the company pays to protect its workers.


Roof Snow Removal Service Chart

Roof Snow Removal Service Chart


Size of roof (flat or steep)Cost
2,500 sq.ft.$200 - $2,000
3,000 sq.ft.$300 - $2,100
3,500 sq.ft.$400 - $2,200
More than 3,500 sq.ft.$0.16 - $0.20 per sq.in.


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Roof Snow Removal Prices

Most snow removal companies charge either by the hour or by the half-hour. A minimum charge of $75 to $90 is usually assessed for small projects. Most companies charge around $90 to $100 per hour or $50 per half-hour. Most companies require a $50 to $100 deposit to hold the appointment.

The removal of 12 inches of heavy, semi-compacted snow from a flat 2,500 sq.ft roof requires roughly 5 hours for a total of around $500 on average. The cost of roof snow removal is primarily based on roof size. Therefore, the cost of removal per event and per visit will be the same. The cost range for removing roof snow per event (storm) and per visit is $200 to $2,000. You pay near the top of this range if your roof is larger than the average American roof of 2,500 sq.ft. and/or you have a steeply pitched roof where snow accumulates in hard-to-reach areas. Professionals do not usually offer monthly or yearly contracts for roof snow removal. These are common cost methods for snow removal from driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots.


Roof Snow Removal Prices


FrequencyCost
Per hour$90 - $100
Per event/ visit$200 - $2,000


When to Remove Snow from Roof

Knowing when to remove the snow from your roof is probably the most challenging part of the process for homeowners. Modern roofs are built to hold a minimum of 35 pounds per square foot, which is 6-inches of packed snow or 12-inches of fluffier snow. Roofs with a pitch above 4-½ inches or a rise of more than 4-½-inches per foot will not tend to accumulate more snow than this. More snow than that will generally slide off.

However, roofs with a flatter pitch accumulate more snow over time, increasing the weight to 60 or even 75 pounds per square foot. This amount is more than the roof can safely hold without developing problems. For homes with flat roofs, removing the snow when it reaches 12 inches in depth is recommended.

For other roofs, the matter is more complicated and depends on the weight of the snow. If the snow has been freezing and compacting, it’s also getting heavier and not necessarily sliding off. In this case, you can have the snow weighed. A 12-inch square section is removed from the roof and weighed. If it weighs 60 pounds or more, you need to have the snow removed from your roof to prevent damage. If less, you may be risking more damage to the roof by shoveling than by leaving it alone.

Ice Dam Removal Cost

The other issue to consider is an ice dam. This is a condition when the snow on your roof melts, then refreezes at the edge. An ice dam causes water to back up beneath your roofing shingles 2, causing leaks and deterioration. Ice dams can cause icicles, which can fall and hurt people standing or walking below the eaves 3. The cost to remove ice dams ranges from $400 to $2,000.

Not every property accumulates ice dams. Homes with proper ventilation and insulation in the attic will not develop them as frequently as homes without adequate ventilation and insulation. If your home develops ice dams frequently, it’s generally recommended that you have the snow removed at least from the front of your roof every 6 inches.


Professionals removing snow from roof

Cost Factors to Remove Roof Snow

Several factors go into determining snow removal costs. The first is the amount of time that it takes to remove the snow. Larger roofs, heavier snowfall, and ice accumulation all mean that the removal process takes longer. Since many companies charge per hour or half-hour, the longer the process, the higher the cost.

The pitch of your roof also plays a role. Typically, any work done on a roof with a very high pitch costs more than work done on a flat roof. However, in snow removal, the higher the pitch, the more likely the snow will slide off on its own. So, removing snow from a flat roof may actually cost more, as there is likely more to remove.

Finally, the process affects the cost. For one-story homes, it’s generally safer and better for your roof to have the snow raked off, rather than shoveled. Raking snow off the roof can be less expensive than snow shoveling and needs to be done for homes with two or more stories.


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Heat Coils

Some homeowners install electric cables on their roof to warm it and prevent the snow from accumulating. These are not always the right choice. However, if you’ve had problems in the past, the cables may prevent them from occurring again. They cost between $500 and $1,500 or $5 to $15 per linear foot.

Ice Shield Price

If you’re having a new roof installed, and you’ve had problems with ice dams in the past, you may want to have an ice shield installed. This rubber membrane goes beneath your shingles 2. It helps prevent the leaks that occur when an ice dam backs up on your roof. It costs around $600 to $800 to install.

Heated Gutters Cost

Another way of dealing with ice dams is to install heated gutters. Heated gutters keep the edge of your roof warm, preventing the melting snow from refreezing there. They cost around $2,000 to $4,000 on average.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • DIY is not often recommended. Roofs can be slick, which can cause falls. Also, shoveling can damage your shingles if not done correctly.
  • If you do decide to DIY, you should use a roof rake. This tool pulls the snow down the slope of the roof while you’re standing on solid ground. Do not pull the rake across the roof side to side. This could damage the shingles. Raking works best on one-story homes.
  • Certified professionals will only shovel snow. Raking snow off roofs is not a professional method of removal. You should be leary of any company that offers a roof raking service that claims to do the job from the ground.
  • Make sure your attic is adequately ventilated and insulated to prevent the formation of ice dams.
  • Never walk on a snow-covered roof, as this can compact the snow and cause damage. Work from a ladder or the ground whenever possible.
  • Do not use salt or calcium-chloride-based products to melt the snow off your roof. These materials are corrosive and could damage your roof. Runoff may also harm the plants and grass beside your home.
  • Consider having the snow removed early if you have known issues. Waiting can mean the snow removal company is booked, which means that you’ll wait even longer, potentially causing damage.
  • If you do not have ice dams and are only concerned with roof collapse, you can wait until more than 12 inches of snow has accumulated on your roof before removal.

FAQs

  • How much is too much snow on your roof?

Too much snow could be between 6 and 12 inches depending on the issues--for ice dams, 6-inches; for roof collapse, 12-inches.

  • How much does roof snow removal cost?

Typical costs range between $90 and $400, with most homeowners paying around $300.​

  • Do you have to clear snow off your roof?

No, but very heavy snow can cause structural problems and roof damage, while some roofs may develop ice dams.

  • How much does snow plow insurance cost?

Commercial snow plow insurance rates are around $900 per year.

  • Does insurance cover roof collapse from snow? 10

Yes, most homeowners insurance covers roof collapses from snow. However, depending on the age of the roof and its maintenance schedule, your policy may only pay a depreciated value.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Footing 1 Foot: A support for the foundation of a house that also helps prevent settling. It is typically made of concrete reinforced with rebar, but can also be made of masonry or brick. It is usually built under a heavier part of the house like a wall or column, to distribute the weight of the house over a larger area.
glossary term picture Shingle 2 Shingles: A smooth, uniform, flat piece of construction material, available in a wide variety of materials and laid in a series of overlapping rows, used to cover the outside of roofs or walls to protect against weather damage and leaks.
3 Eaves: The edge of a roof that connects with the wall of the building. Usually this part of the roof comes out further than the wall

Cost to remove snow from roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Updated:
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
Snow and ice dams on the roof of a house
snow removal service providers near you
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Cost to remove snow from roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.