Yikes! Last weekends’ snowstorm was not only unpleasant but — where is my shovel! (Hiding behind the leaf blower?) Where is my snow rake! This early snowstorm was a quick reminder that heavy snow is problematic on all levels and reminded me how much I appreciate ergonomic snow shovels and snow rakes.
Snow is labor intensive and those in the snow belt know the problems snow covered roofs can bring. Roofs can collapse partially or fully when the ‘snow load’ exceeds the structural capacity of a roof. The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has issues a Snow Load Safety Guidance brochure to advise homeowners on detecting problematic roofs. FEMA advises homeowners take specific safety measures to maintain safety for all involved when attempting to remove snow from a roof. Enter the Snow Rack ….
- Sagging ceilings
- Creaking and crackling noises
- Tresses which bow
- Split or cracked wood
- Roof leaks
- Water accumulating on low slope roofs
Slope Versus Flat Roofs
Roofs with a steep slope are more friendly to snow removal. Gables, irregular shaped roofs impede can create snow drifts on the roof and interfere with drainage. Weather fluctuations between snowfalls can create the additional problem of ice dams which impede the flow of water and the ability of the roof to shed the snow. If the snow has accumulated more than one foot, experts recommend snow is removed from the roof. Engineers report that low pitched roofs are a greater tendency to experience overload. It is recommended that snow accumulations greater than 18 inches on a low pitched roof should be removed.
Snow Rake And Roof Rakes
Safety is paramount to removing snow from a roof whether the roof be pitched or sloped. While a shovel may work adequately on a flat roof, snow aka as roof rakes are beneficial for a sloped roof. Roof rakes provide a longer handle and special blade to assist in snow removal. One of the highest customer rated snow rakes is the Garelick 89421 24 inch roof rake with extensions and a 24 by 7 blade.
Another top rated snow rake is the Snow Joe with positive consumer reviews, telescoping handle (a must!) and ergonomic design. Living in snow country and having experienced a recent winter with the most snow since they began keeping records of snow (the 1890’s!) I can’t recommend enough paying attention to the snow build up on your roof. Damage to your roof, gutters and house can definitely occur with a heavy snow accumulation and spring clean up is no breeze with a damaged roof or gutter.
Safety Rules To Remove Snow From Roof
Also to consider when attempting to remove snow from a roof are :
- utility lines
- snow dams
- ladder safety
- falling snow
- snow avalanche
Unsuspecting homeowners have put themselves in danger as demonstrated by this video, this would be an example of how not to remove snow from a roof.