In northern climates, heavy snow loads present real dangers to the roofs of our homes and businesses. A residential roof rake is the perfect tool to stay on top of snow load and clear your roof of unwanted snow during the winter. Some argue that roofs built to proper structural codes will never be stressed by any amount of snow a roof will see; however, wet and ice laden snow can accumulate very quickly and cause issues before the pitch of the roof can shed the excess snow. Clearing snow early is also a strong preventative measure for ice dams by removing the “fuel” that helps them grow. As a whole, we have outlined some reasons as to why you should be diligent in removing snow from your roof, especially as we get deeper and deeper into the winter season. This small job will only take several hours of your time and will likely end up saving you thousands in repairs and priceless peace of mind as well.
What is a Roof Rake and How Do They Work
A roof rake is often presented as a flat blade like piece of either plastic or metal attached to a telescoping post. These flat pieces run horizontally across your roof and attached perpendicular to the pole. This design allows you to pull snow directly downward towards the ground. These poles average twenty feet, which affords you the ability to reach high up on your roof, if not all the way to the peak. Also, due to the length, as you pull snow downward, users can take steps back, out of the way of falling snow. Roof height ultimately determines what length rake you will need, as well as how far back from your home you would like to be. The best roof rake should be made of sturdy plastic. This allows you to have enough weight and strength of material to move heavy snow, while also limiting the possibility of damaging your roof. Metal bladed rakes are harder on your shingles and flashing which can lead to early deterioration or unnecessary damage.
How to Properly Use a Roof Rake
To start with a roof rake, the user must extend the telescoping pole to a proper length for the roof they are going to clear. The first steps of roof rake usage should be testing the rake and pressure against edging and flashing of the roof. If these pieces move or appear weakened, this task should be left to professionals to ensure your roof does not get damaged. This issue could open your roof up to the possibility of ice and water damage, which is obviously the last thing you want during a bitter cold winter evening. Icicles should be cleared from afar to prevent the likelihood of personal injury. These are exceedingly dangerous if left to grow to considerable size, so it is important to clear them early in the process and quite often. With enough pressure to pull snow, you should work your way up the roof, taking small pieces of snow at a time. If done correctly, using the best roof rake should not cover you in snow, and keep you safe.
As a reminder, raking snow from your roof should best be left to a professional, as they know exactly how much pressure to use, as well as how to best approach your roof to eliminate the possibility of damage as well as personal injury. Taking too much snow can damage your landscaping as well as you, if you stand too close. Also, due to the length of the metal pole, it is important to be mindful of nearby power lines.
We are open year round to help our customers with their roofing issues, for more, contact us today!