Some areas in the Keweenaw have already seen more than 100 inches of snow this winter, which means that most rooftops are covered with a good amount of snow and ice.
The build-up can lead to a host of problems, which is what happens to the dozens of residences and local businesses that will be shoveled off by Dan Riutta Contracting crews this winter.
One flat rooftop had two feet of snow and ice already built up, causing a leak and concern that the weight might be too heavy for the structure.
"Where the flat roof meets the gabled end, they have some leakage problems, said worker Bob Jollimore. That should be taken care of by removing the snow and ice."
Down the road at Dan Riutta's store and office, the contractor has a leak of his own to deal with. As Riutta climbs a ladder to begin removing the thick layers of snow and ice, he jokes that just because he knows the solution doesn't mean he can always prevent the problem.
"Water has to run off somewhere so if it can't get past the ice build up, it's going to find a different path, said Riutta. In a situation like ours, the water worked its way under the flashing and got into the building."
Riutta and his crews have cleaned off hundreds of roofs over the past 20 years. He says the best time to consider removal is after the first 90-100 inches of snowfall and most importantly before any significant thaw.
"If you see coloring in the ice, some brownish colors, that's another indicator that it's definitely something you want to take care of, Riutta said.
Of course with the large amount of snow that the Keweenaw sees each winter, some people may have to shovel their roof off more than once, but all of that depends on the roof's construction and the number of thaws.
For anyone wanting to try it themselves, Riutta says he's available to answer questions and pass along tips.