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What is a roof rake and how to safely use one!

Roofing · December 20, 2023


During winter, snow is constantly piling up and accumulating on your roof. This can cause severe damage to your house. Instead of always contacting a professional to help you clean the now, it would be wise to own a tool that will efficiently and quickly clean all the snow off your roof. A roof rake can be very effective and prevent possible roof damage during bad winter weather, if it is used correctly. It is essential to know how and when to use a roof rake. This blog will guide you through the use of a roof rake and other safety tips.


What is a roof rake?

A roof rake is a tool that makes cleaning snow from a one-story home effortless. It has a long telescoping pole with a broad head that resembles a rake. The adjustable handle allows you to reach higher on to your roof without having to leave the safety of the ground. It works by gently pushing and pulling piles of snow off the roof. A roof rake can be a helpful tool and can save you hours of time. It is essential to learn how to use the roof rake properly. If not, you can cause more harm than good by damaging your roof and/or gutters. 

Why is it important to use a roof rake?

As snow accumulates on your roof, it melts and causes ice dams. Water and moisture spread fast. It the melted snow does not refreeze it can work its way under your shingles and spread to unprotected areas quickly. The longer snow stays on your roof, the likelihood of damage increases drastically. Leaks cause the wood to rot and weaken and water can lead to mold issues over time if it is not addressed.


When should you use a roof rake?

The right time to use a roof rake is as soon as you notice thick layers of snow piling up on your roof and/or gutters. It would be best to clean the snow off your roof every time it piles up to at least 6 inches. You do not need to clear your roof off every time it snows. Thick layers of snow are much more likely to cause issues than a few smaller storms with only a few inches of snow. Depending on where you live, you may want to clear off your roof more than once during a storm. This will save you time and energy because it will be much easier to remove the smaller amounts of snow. Never use a ladder when cleaning with a roof rake. Using a ladder can be very dangerous when working with a roof rake, as you can quickly lose balance or snow could come down and knock you off the ladder. It is a better bet to purchase a roof rake with a long handle than to use a ladder to reach higher up your roof.


How to safely remove snow with a roof rake.

Before removing any snow from the roof, inspect the surrounding area for anything that could get damaged, be a tripping hazard, or cause any other issue while removing snow. Always start with the snow that is closest to the edge of the roof. This makes removal much easier because you are removing the snow in smaller portions rather than a considerable amount of snow all at once, which can be very dangerous to you and anyone else standing nearby. Exercising caution is always the best approach when removing snow from your roof. If you notice icicles on the gutters or ice buildup anywhere on the roof, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Call a friend or a professional to assist you. Work carefully and be patient. Removing icicles can permanently damage your gutters or shingles if it is not done correctly. If you haven't removed ice from your roof before, do not try it without a professional. Avoid hitting any protrusions on your roof or around your house. Be careful when raking snow from a skylight, a chimney, or an exhaust pipe. It is best to avoid them altogether. Also, keep in mind tree branches or powerlines that are near your roof.

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