Snow that is allowed to accumulate on your roof can cause serious problems, ranging from ice dams in your gutters to leaks in your house to complete roof collapse. A relatively easy way to avoid these problems is to rake snow from your roof. This is a job that you can do yourself or hire a professional snow removal contractor to do for you.
As a general rule of thumb, you should get snow removed from your roof if it is six or more inches deep. Snow can vary in terms of weight, so you may need to remove it if there is less, but heavier, snow. However, if the weather is forecast to stay above freezing for a few days, most or all of the snow might melt on its own, making roof raking unnecessary. If temperatures are expected to remain below freezing, or if more snow is in the forecast, it is a good idea to rake the snow before too much weight accumulates.
If you live in a one-story house, you should be able to rake most of the snow from your roof. If your house is two stories or taller, you might not be able to reach all of the snow, but you should at least remove the snow from the overhangs, which are the weakest part of the roof.
Choosing the right roof rake will make your job easier. A rake with small rollers or bumpers on the bottom of the blade will prevent you from scraping and damaging your shingles. If you can’t find a roof rake with rollers or bumpers, buy one with a plastic blade.
A rake with a small curve in the handle near the head of the rake will help you get a better angle, which will allow you to get deeper into the snow pile and reach higher up on your roof. This will help you remove more snow than you could by using a rake without a curved handle.
When buying a roof rake, it is a good idea to buy extra extension poles since they frequently get bent or damaged. Many hardware stores change the brands of roof rakes they stock mid-season, so it is best to buy extra extension poles at the beginning to make sure they fit your roof rake.
Start by raking snow from your overhangs and work your way toward the top of the roof. Rake off about a foot of snow at a time. If you try to rake too much at once, the roof rake will float on top of the snow instead of pulling it down. This will pack the snow down or pile it up in the overhangs, which will make it harder to remove.
When using a metal roof rake, be aware of your surroundings. Touching an overhead power line with a roof rake can cause you to get electrocuted.
Raking a lot of snow from a roof can be challenging and tiring. If you do not feel comfortable doing the job yourself, hire a snow removal contractor.