We are in the heart of winter in central Maine. This week is bringing the coldest temperatures of the year with a couple chances for more snow. Winter weather brings a wide array of issues to deal with. Icy roads and sidewalks, shoveling our driveways, winterizing your car and high fuels costs. One less conspicuous dangers of winter is snow building up the roof of your home.

Snow is heavy and as it collects on the roof throughout the winter it causes stress on your roof. The worst case scenario is your roof caving in. Not only would that create plenty of damage to your home, it could cause bodily harm.

Even if there isn't much snow on your roof, melting snow can cause ice damming, sliding and falling snow. That can lead to water intrusion and damage to the interior of your home. When snow melts, water will find cracks in your roof. Water damage can cause ceilings, infrastructure, and roofs to warp or rot.

So how to remove snow from your roof? The cheapest way is to get a roof rake. You can buy one at any local hardware store. Most roof rakes require some assembly and roof raking is a strenuous activity. Use short stokes when raking, pulling the first foot of snow off. Gradually work your way back from the roof ledge to the center. To protect shingles, don't use the blade to break up the ice by dropping it against the roof.

There are also several area businesses that offer snow removal. The money spent to protect your roof could save you plenty of money on having to replace or repair your roof.

Plenty of homes in Maine are going with aluminum roofs.

I have a snow removal story to share. My old roommate, Mike Easler, called me at work on Valentine's Day 2011. He asked me if I had a ladder and that he planned on going on the roof to remove snow. I didn't have a ladder and told him that I'd be home mid-afternoon to help and that I had a roof rake. It was a sunny, warm day, around 50 degrees and I pulled into my driveway around 3 p.m. and there was Mike on the roof, shirtless, showing the snow who was boss! First of all, he got on the roof of my mobile home with no ladder and once he was up there, he didn't stop until all the snow was off the roof! I still had my share of work to do on the ground. Plenty of the snow removed from the roof had to be shoveled off the walkways and stairs. Still, there was a lot of snow up there and I was very thankful that Mike did what he did! Unfortunately, Mike moved away that summer and snow removal is once again my responsibility.

So don't forget the snow on the roof and please remove it safely.