Two people using roof snow shovels to remove snow from a roof

The Best Roof Shovels for Snow (2024)

Climbing up on the roof can be dangerous for the average homeowner. Equally dangerous is the massive amount of weight a heavy snowfall can place on your roof, which can cause enough stress to lead to structural damage or collapse.

Unless you’re trained to navigate the steep slopes, potentially slippery surfaces, and multiple obstacles atop your home, you’re better off letting a roofing professional take care of any issues having to do with your roof – like shoveling. But when you need to alleviate the immediate stress from your roof, it’s important to know how to shovel your roof properly and which is the best roof shovel for snow to tackle the job safely and effectively.

Excess snow must be removed since melting snow can refreeze and create ice dams that prevent water from draining adequately off the roof. We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of when to shovel your roof, the dangers and risks involved, and the safety precautions you should take. We’ll also share some of our go-to roof snow shovels to help you avoid leaks and water damage to your home.

The Snowplow, “the Original Snow Pusher” roof shovel for snow, is a solid go-to option. Its wide, poly base gently pushes a large amount of snow without physically picking it up, which helps reduce the risk of injury. The ergonomic handle provides more comfort, so removing snow from your roof doesn’t seem like a chore.

In this article:

Types of Roof Snow Shovels

Type of Roof Shovel Key Features
Roof rake Wide, flat blade
Long handle for removing snow from the ground
Some have wheels or rollers to avoid shingle damage
Snow cutter Sharp, serrated blade on one side
Wide, flat blade on the other side
Snow shovel with extension Regular snow shovel with an extra-long handle
Snow broom Has a wide, flat brush for sweeping snow
Blade is made of foam or other soft material to avoid shingle and skylight damage
Snow blower with attachment Attachment for a regular snow blower
Similar to a leaf blower attachment
Allows you to blow snow off your roof from the ground

The type of shovel you use on your roof matters. A regular digging shovel or a shingle eater can severely damage your roof if not used correctly, and you could break or crack your roof’s shingles.

Roof shovels meant for removing snow without damaging your roof include:

Roof Rake

A roof rake features a long handle with a wide, flat blade so you can scrape snow off your roof while you’re standing on the ground. This way, you don’t have to climb up onto your roof, so snow removal is generally safer.  Depending on how far the rake reaches, you may not get all the snow off, but you can remove heavy snow from your gutters and eaves.

Look for a roof rake with wheels or rollers so the blade never touches the roof. This reduces the chance of damaging your shingles.

Snow Cutter

A snow cutter is similar to a roof rake. One side features a sharp, serrated blade that can cut through ice and hard snow, while the other side has a wide, flat blade meant to scrape the snow off the roof. The downside is the serrated blade could damage your shingles if you’re not careful.

Snow Shovel with Extension

A snow shovel with an extension is a regular snow shovel but features an extra-long handle so you can use it from the ground. Unlike regular snow shovels meant for your driveway or walkway, roof snow shovels are not made from metal and do not contain metal blades or edges.

Snow Broom

A snow broom is similar to a roof rake, except that instead of a hard, flat blade, it’s outfitted with a wide, flat brush for sweeping snow off the roof. The blade is made from foam or other soft material, so it doesn’t damage shingles or solar panels.

Snow Blower with Attachment

A snow blower isn’t just for driveways. In fact, you can use one to remove snow from your roof. Secure a long attachment, similar to a leaf blower attachment but one that’s made for snow, so you can reach from the ground and blow the snow off your roof.

How to Shovel Snow from Your Roof the Right Way

Person using a roof snow shovel to remove snow from a roof while standing on the ground

It’s important to know when and how to shovel your roof properly so you don’t break, crack, or otherwise damage the shingles. Broken shingles can lead to water leaks, which can lead to sustained damage to your home and roof deck.

First, it’s important to understand when you actually need to shovel your roof. We suggest shoveling your roof (whether you do it yourself or call a professional) in the following circumstances:

  • Your roof appears to be sagging or cracking from the excess weight of snow.
  • The snow that fell is heavy snow laden with water.
  • Ice dams have formed, causing water to leak into your home.
  • You have an older home that was built before snow-load regulations.
  • The insulation or ventilation has recently changed in your home.
  • Your roof is flat, and the snow is not falling off on its own.

Quick tips for shoveling the correct way include:

  • Opt for a roof rake or plastic shovel with a handle extension. This allows you to safely remove snow while standing firmly on the ground, minimizing risk.
  • Remove snow in a balanced way to avoid unwanted, excessive weight on just one section of your roof. Lopsided excess weight can cause too much pressure on your roof and lead to structural damage.
  • Leave at least 6 inches of snow on your roof for added traction and insulation. The snow left behind also helps you avoid damaging your shingles.
  • Prevent ice dams from forming by applying ice melt in order to help create proper drainage.
  • Wait until the snow has settled before shoveling it off. It’s also wise to wait until it has stopped snowing.

When Not to Shovel Snow Off Your Roof

Closeup of a roof snow brush being used to brush snow off of a roof

It’s not always wise to shovel snow off your roof. It’s dangerous, with a high risk of falling. Under modern building codes, roof structures must be able to withstand a weight of 40 pounds per square foot, while local regulations may require an even higher weight capacity. If your roof was installed under more recent regulations, it can probably handle the snow load without issue.

Most of the time, shoveling your roof should be left to professionals who understand the best practices required for removing snow and ice. Roofing professionals can ensure snow is properly removed while remaining safe.

Ranch Roofing is open year-round to help with your winter roofing needs. Contact us today for more information.

Safety Precautions and Risks

Person shoveling snow off of a roof using a roof snow shovel

Shoveling your roof may seem like an easy task, but it can actually be very dangerous. Your roof’s pitch and height can make it more challenging and increase the risk.

Though walking along a flat roof is easier than a steep roof, a flat roof is at higher risk of collapse from the weight of snow. You certainly don’t want to be on the roof if and when it does collapse.

It’s wise to call a roofing professional. They have proper safety measures in place to help prevent falls and utilize specialized tools to aid in snow removal.

Safety precautions to consider include:

  • If you are uncomfortable removing the snow yourself, contact a roofing professional.
  • Clear a safe zone all around your home so falling snow and ice don’t damage your property or cause injuries to humans or pets.
  • Do not use roof rakes, extension shovels, or snow blowers while standing on a ladder.
  • Avoid injury to your back by using proper lifting techniques.

Best Roof Shovels for Snow

The best roofing shovel is lightweight, features a wide blade, and has a long, ergonomic handle with a non-slip grip. The easier the shovel is to use, the easier it is on your body to do the job safely.

We compiled a list of our favorite shovels for roof snow to help you determine what best suits your needs.

Best Overall Roof Snow Shovel: The Snowplow “the Original Snow Pusher” 36″ Wide

The Snowplow "the Original Snow Pusher" 36" Wide

The Snowplow, referred to as “the original snow pusher,” has a 36-inch-wide base, making it suitable for various applications, including removing large amounts of snow from your roof. Rather than lifting a heavy shovel full of snow, this tool is designed to push it instead, making it easier on your back.

The shovel is outfitted with an ergonomic handle, made from fiberglass, and features a D-style grip. The design is created to provide comfortable, yet operational, control as you push the snow. The Snowplow also has a brace support system, which keeps the poly blade base sturdy when in use.

Though the poly blade base is gentle enough for scraping snow off your roof, it can also be flipped over to use the edge as a cutting tool to chip away at packed snow or ice. Then, just flip it back over to push the stubborn snow away.

Best Adjustable Roof Snow Shovel: Lifeline Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel

Lifeline Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel

The Lifeline Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel is our favorite adjustable roofing shovel for snow. Its 3-piece collapsible design makes it compact and easy to store or pack. Made from aluminum, the shovel has a plastic handle that can be adjusted from 21 inches to 25 inches to 32 inches, depending on your needs.

The shovel weighs just over 1 pound, so it’s lightweight enough to carry up to the roof without worrying about hauling a heavy shovel up a ladder. However, its scoop base measures just over 8 inches wide, allowing it to effectively remove large amounts of snow.

Best Roof Rake: Snow Joe 21′ Twist-n-Lock Telescoping Roof Rake

Snow Joe 21' Twist-n-Lock Telescoping Roof Rake

The Snow Joe 21′ Twist-n-Lock Telescoping Roof Rake features a telescoping pole that allows you to reach greater heights. Adjust the pole from 6.2 feet up to 21 feet so you don’t have to climb a ladder to remove the snow from your roof. Just twist and lock the pole into place to anchor it at the length you need.

The Snow Joe, reaching a total length of up to 27 feet, has an aluminum handle outfitted with a rubber grip, making it easy and comfortable to use. The poly blade is gentle on your roof, and at 6 inches x 25 inches, it allows you to remove a good amount of snow in one go.

The Snow Joe roof rake weighs just under 5 pounds, so though it’s lengthy, it won’t wear out your arms and shoulders as you clear snow. However, the rake may not be as sturdy when it’s extended to its fullest length.

Best Two-Handle Roof Snow Shovel: Snow Joe Shovelution

Snow Joe Shovelution

The Snow Joe Shovelution features two handles instead of one. This gives the user better, more comfortable, and efficient control throughout the shoveling process. Plus, it reduces the strain on your back since lifting and moving snow is easier.

The lower, front handle is spring-loaded, and both handles feature a D-style, ergonomic grip for easy functional use. The design is created to limit body pain while shoveling and make it safer to move snow. The blade measures 20 inches wide, which covers a large area. However, the edge is made from aluminum, so be careful when using it on your roof.

Best Lightweight Roof Shovel for Snow: Ashman Snow Shovel with Large Scoop and Heavy Duty Handle

Ashman Snow Shovel with Large Scoop and Heavy Duty Handle

The Ashman Snow Shovel with Large Scoop and Heavy Duty Handle features a large, 10-inch by 12-inch scoop that’s good for heavy snow. The heavy-duty, 46-inch long handle makes it a winning choice for the lightweight category since most lightweight shovels aren’t ideal for dealing with heavy snow. The Ashman snow shovel is solid and sturdy with a D-style handle for a secure grip.

Though the shovel is lightweight, it’s made of aluminum, so it can withstand the wear and tear of shoveling snow off your roof. That said, beware of getting too close to your shingles so you don’t damage your roof.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a roof shovel?

A roof shovel is different from a digging shovel. Roof shovels are typically created to remove old shingles and feature a square-edged blade that can pry shingles and nails off the roof.

Roof shovels can also be used to remove snow. Shovels specifically created for this purpose are designed to avoid damage to the underlying shingles. Roofing snow shovels usually have an extended handle so you can remove snow from the roof while standing on the ground.

Should you shovel your roof?

If you’re unsure whether you should shovel your roof, contact a roofing professional to do it for you. Climbing up on your roof comes with a high risk of injury.

Reasons to shovel your roof include:

  • Roof is sagging or cracking
  • Formation of ice dams
  • Recent heavy snowfall
  • You have an older house
  • Your house has a flat roof

What is the best tool to remove snow from a roof?

A roof rake is a popular tool for removing snow from your roof. It enables you to stand firmly on the ground while you scrape snow from the roof. It can alleviate the heavy weight around the eaves of your roof and allow the rest of the snow to melt or fall off.

Does shoveling snow from your roof damage shingles?

If you don’t remove the snow properly, you could potentially ruin the shingles on your roof. It is wise to leave at least 6 inches of snow on top of your roof to help insulate and protect it.

What are the risks of using a regular shovel on a roof?

A regular shovel is typically made from metal and features sharp edges that could tear up your roof if you’re not careful. Roofing snow shovels are designed to glide easily over your roof while safely removing snow.

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