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Roof Raking Tips Homeowners Need to Know


Every winter, as the leaves fall from the trees and people look forward to a time of holidays and family gatherings, many people neglect an important task: raking their roof. It’s true that this is not something you need to do every day or even every week. But it does need to be done during the winter season.

Frequent snowfalls will mean you may accumulate snow on your roof, especially if your roof is not steep or pitched.  You don't want snow to accumulate and eventually cause your roof to have damage or even collapse. When you see compiling snow on the roof, that is a sign that it is time for you to remove it prior to causing harm or allowing ice dams to occur.

Interestingly, a foot of snow can weigh up to 20+ pounds - which presents even more crushing weight with each foot of snow that falls. As the inches of snow accumulate, the weight compounds, shingles can be damaged, an ice dam can develop, and your roof may succumb to the snow and ice.

In this article, we have tips to consider when removing snow from your roof, and for you to make roof raking safer.

Purchase a quality roof rake/snow rake.

Before you rake a roof, you need the right tools for the job. A quality roof rake will have an extendable pole and a well-constructed metal or fiberglass end with which to remove snow.  How do you know which size roof rake to purchase? You should start this process by measuring how long your roof is that you want to clear of snow.  Generally, you can purchase a 6', 8' or 12' roof rake. Some homeowners will even go up to 21+ feet in length in the roof rakes they purchase. You should purchase the proper length roof rake that will allow you to reach the peak of your roofline. Roof rakes are readily available online or can be purchased from your local home improvement store.

While you may be tempted to use a shovel, garden rake, broom or even your feet to remove snow from your roof - we don't recommend it! You should purchase a quality roof rake which will allow you to be more careful and safe.  And, given you stay in Minnesota, you'll have this tool available to use year after year no matter how cold or snowy the weather.

Safety First - Your Family Needs You, So Be Careful

Before you begin with your snow removal or ice removal, keep these safety considerations in mind.

  • Work with a partner
  • Dress appropriately with warm clothing and non-slip foot wear. Don't forget to wear a hat to protect your head from falling ice and snow.
  • Avoid using ladders - purchase longer roof rakes instead. A ladder may be unstable and easily fall over or slip onto the ground.
  • Be mindful of features of your roof - avoid raking glass skylights and be sure that any exhaust or ventilation exchanges remain unobstructed
  • Do not use electrical appliances to attempt to melt snow
  • Avoid contacting power lines
  • Make sure the pavement, ground, or sidewalk where you are stepping are free of ice and slippery surfaces
  • As tempting as it may be to knock down icicles, you may cause damage to your gutters, roof, or even yourself.
  • Make note of any ice buildup or ice dam - and call a professional company to assist in their removal. The weight of an ice dam can be very dangerous and cause damage to your house.
  • Don't ice rake too frequently, or too harshly, as you could cause damage to your shingles.
  • Pull snow from the area that is near to you and work your way up the roof with your snow rake.
  • If you feel fatigued, short of breath or light-headed, immediately phone 911.

Hire a Company to Prevent Ice Dams and Remove Snow and Ice From Your Roof

Using a roof rake is just one strategy to remove snow from your roof, but it is advisable to call on a professional ice dam or snow removal company.  Before the arrival of freezing weather, they will inspect your property and recommend strategies for managing ice dams and preventing future damage. They can also advise you on gutter cleaning and how to avoid developing ice dams.

Maintaining your roof is an investment. If you do not know the signs of roof damage, you may be stuck with very expensive repairs - or even worse, having to replace your entire roof. An experienced company will provide their expertise in helping you determine if there is a problem with your roof and then give professional recommendations for how to resolve roofing issues. Even better, a company experienced with roofing care and maintenance will help prevent damage throughout the entire winter season.

The best part about giving a phone call or requesting a free quote online for a service to care for your roof for you is that you'll be free to enjoy the FUN our Minnesota winter season can offer! Contact The Lawnsmith to schedule this roof raking service today.

Photo credit: Unsplash.