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

Typical Range:

$200 - $3,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated December 19, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cost to remove snow from a residential roof is $300 to $700. You can spend as little as $200 and as much as $3,000 if you have a large roof with more accumulated snow. Labor costs $90 to $100 per hour. Costs stay roughly the same across the country, though may rise in areas with infrequent snowfall due to a shortage of experienced laborers.

Find more information below on the cost factors regarding roof snow removal, along with considerations for hiring a local residential snow removal specialist and a local commercial snow removal specialist.

Average Cost to Remove Snow From a Roof

Average Cost High Cost Low Cost
$500 $3,000 $200

Roof Snow Removal Cost per Square Foot

It costs between $0.10 and $0.20 per square foot to remove snow from a roof. You'll pay around $50 to $100 per hour, and, generally, a pro can clear 500 square feet per hour. However, if the roof is of a very steep pitch, is an awkward shape with lots of seams, peaks, and planes, or it's very tall, you'll pay more, as the job is more difficult and takes longer. Take a look at typical roof sizes, assuming an average pitch and height, and how much it costs to clear snow from them. 

Square Foot Cost Range (All-In) Average Cost (All-In)
1,500 sq. ft. $150 – $300 $225
2,000 sq. ft. $200 – $400 $300
2,500 sq. ft. $250 – $500 $375
3,000 sq. ft. $350 – $600 $475
3,500 sq. ft. $450 – $700 $575

Estimating Roof Snow Removal Costs

Roof snow removal costs between $200 to $700. Most homeowners spend around $300 to $500, though that price increases with the amount of accumulated snow, the size of the roof, and the overall difficulty of the job. Most professionals offer a free consultation in which they will weigh a square of compacted snow to assess need. Remember, roof snow removal is a specialized and potentially dangerous job. Additionally, it may not always be necessary.

Labor is the name of the game here and will run you at least 90% of your total project cost. They won’t use too many costly materials or components, with most utilizing reusable tools, such as rope, wire, rakes, shovels, and, in some cases, machines that blow steam. Laborers will not only clear off your roof but will also ensure ready access to drains, gutters, and downspouts.

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Roof Snow Removal Labor Costs

Roof snow removal specialists charge around $90 to $100 per hour, and the number of hours needed is completely dependent on the extent of the problem. This cost is higher than the $25 to $75 per hour rate you’ll find when sourcing the cost to remove snow from other parts of the property, as roof work is specialized, dangerous, and tends to require OSHA compliance and insurance for all contractors.

Most companies require a deposit of $50 to $100 to hold an appointment, as contractors are extremely busy immediately following heavy snowfall.

Roof Snow Removal Cost Factors

Many factors impact the overall cost of these jobs, as no roof or severe weather events are the same.

Roof Size

Generally speaking, you’ll pay between $200 and $2,000 for a 2,500-square-foot roof, $300 to $2,100 for a 3,000-square-foot roof, and $400 to $2,200 for a 3,500-square-foot roof. Once you go beyond 3,500 square feet, count on paying an additional $0.16 to $0.20 per square foot.

Amount of Snow

The amount of snow and the overall weight of compacted snow significantly impact the overall cost.

12 inches of snow $200 – $2,000
18 inches of snow $250 – $2,050
24 inches of snow $300 – $3,000
More than 24 inches of snow $50 – $100 per 6 inches of snow

Ice Dams

Snow is not the only thing that mucks up a roof during winter. Many roofs are susceptible to ice dams, which cost $400 to $2,000 to remove, with difficult projects falling on the higher end of that estimate. These dams occur when the freeze/thaw cycle causes snow to melt and refreeze at the edge of your roof. Ice dams can seriously damage your roof and cause icicles, which can fall and cause injury.

Overall Difficulty

The complexity of the job impacts the overall cost, particularly the incline and height of the roof. Jobs on a heavily pitched roof cost more than those conducted on a flat roof due to the inherent danger of navigating a steep incline. However, in some cases, a steep roof causes snow to fall off on its own, which reduces or eliminates labor costs. One-story homes are lower to the ground than multi-story homes and, as such, cost less to have snow removed from the roof.

Roof Snow Removal Optional Costs

There are some optional procedures to think about when having snow removed from your roof, as opting into these services could reduce the financial strain down the line.

Heating Cables

The average cost of installing heating cables ranges from $445 to $1,300, though the price varies depending on the size of your roof and the job's complexity. Heating cables, heat coils, heat tape, and heat wires are variations of the same concept. These long, insulated products melt ice from your roof, saving money in the long run. You may also pay more for a thermostat-controlled system than a manual system.

Heated Gutters

Heated gutters cost anywhere from $500 to $4,000. Heated gutters help to prevent ice dams by keeping the edge of your roof warm. This prevents snow melt refreezing on the edge of your roof and causing damage. 

Ice Shields

Ice shields help prevent the formation of ice dams and cost around $600 to $800 to install. This rubber membrane goes beneath your shingles, making installation tricky when considering a pre-existing roof. This is a great option, however, at the point of building a brand new roof. Contact a local roofer for more information.

Monthly Contracts

Monthly contracts for snow removal are a great way to settle the whole issue season-by-season. Unfortunately, not many technicians offer monthly contracts for removing snow from a roof, sticking instead to sidewalk plowing, driveway plowing, and general yard clearing. Eliminating snow from a roof requires a specialized skill set that doesn’t always match the ethos and convenience of a monthly contract.

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DIY vs. Hiring a Snow Removal Pro

Any job that requires roof access is potentially dangerous, especially when dealing with ice, snow, and moisture. In other words, doing this job yourself is possible and would save you the entirety of labor costs, but we don’t recommend DIYing it unless you have plenty of experience in the field. There is one exception, however. If you live in a single-story home and the roof is accessible from the ground, you could complete the snow removal process safely and quickly.

But if there's bad weather, the roof is high or steeply pitched, or the snow and ice buildup is heavy, it's worth hiring a local snow removal service.


How much snow is too much snow on a roof?

How much snow is too much for your roof depends on the overall sturdiness of your roof and just how compacted the snow is. But as a general rule, you should consider removal once it goes above 6 inches, particularly if you notice the formation of ice dams. Without ice dams, homeowners typically remove snow from a roof at 12 inches to preserve structural integrity.

Do you have to clear snow from a roof?

Not necessarily, but snow is heavy and, over time, will damage your roof, leading to costly repairs. Snow also aids in the formation of ice dams, which present their own dangers. If you see ice dams and snow around 6 inches deep, have it cleared. If no ice dams exist and you have a sturdy, structurally sound roof, you may let the snow get up to 12 inches deep before removal.

Does insurance cover roof damage from snow?

Yes, most homeowners insurance plans cover roof damage caused by snow, including partial or full roof collapse. However, payouts fluctuate depending on the age of the roof, maintenance demands, and related concerns. Even though your roof should be covered for snow damage, it's smart to avoid the cost and inconvenience by taking steps to keep your roof snow-free.

How much snow can a flat roof support?

A flat roof can take about 20 pounds per square foot of snow, assuming the roof is in good condition to begin with. But any more than that and the structure comes under great stress and is prone to damage. Plus, on flat areas, the snow may melt, pool, and freeze. This can cause further damage. Flat roofs are not the best choice in areas prone to heavy snowfall.