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3 Roof-Raking Tips for Quicker and Easier Roof Snow Removal

Image courtesy of squidoo.com/snow-roof-rakes-scrapers

Image courtesy of squidoo.com/snow-roof-rakes-scrapers

Has this thought ever floated through your head?

“I own a roof rake, but I think my raking technique might be lousy.  What’s the fastest, easiest way to remove the snow from my roof?”

3 tips to make roof snow removal easier:

1.  Get the right roof rake, first of all.  The blade of the roof rake (meaning the part that comes into contact with your roof) should be made of plastic.  The handle itself almost certainly will be made of metal and should have a slight bend in it as it nears the head of the rake.  If you opt to purchase a roof rake with a metal head on it, that’s OK, but make sure it has little rollers or wheels on the blade; these serve to elevate the blade and prevent it from coming into contact with your roof and scraping your shingles.

2.  Don’t try to remove all the snow in one or two pulls of the roof rake.  It’s too difficult.  You’ll either give up before the snow is cleared, or you’ll make a mistake and damage your roof.  Instead, remove the snow in layers, a few inches at a time.

3.  Start from the bottom and work your way to the top.  For instance, if there’s a blanket of snow that extends 4 feet up your roof, start raking the 12 inches or so that’s closest to you.  Don’t start raking the farthest-up part first.  Remove the closest foot of snow, then remove the next-closest foot, and so forth.  A good rule of thumb is to remove the snow in 12” increments (this depends of the overall depth of the snow, of course).  The other reason you’ll want to go bottom-to-top is that you need to make sure you remove the snow on the overhangs first.  If you try to remove the higher-up snow first, you’ll simply be creating a giant mound of snow on your overhangs.  Not only can that mound form an ice dam over time (if you leave it there) but it makes it much harder for you to clear the other snow from the higher areas of your roof.  Keep it simple and remove the snow closest to you first, and work your way up the slope of the roof.

The quickest way to remove snow from your roof is to take the time to pick out the right roof rake and to use a slow-and-steady raking technique.

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Written by on March 25, 2013

2 comments

  1. This is some great information. Thanks for posting. I’ve always had issues with ice dams in the past. This next year will not be an issue as I’ll be prepared! I’ll be sure to reach out for the dams I can’t handle myself.

    Comment by Mark Addman
    July 21, 2013

  2. Thanks for the post Mark. I hope you’re staying on top of your ice dam prevention this year. A lot of people are missing the mark this season due to lack of snow. Because we just haven’t received a ton of snow this year (yet) most homeowners have let their guards down. What people are failing to realize is that the downright arctic air we’ve had is causing our furnaces to run on double-time, thus pumping all that much more warm air into our attics, warming the snow atop of roofs, flowing down to the overhangs and valleys and freezing rock solid. Don’t let your guard down Mark. Try and at least remove that snow from your overhangs and valleys. Even better, get *all* the off of your roof :o)

    Comment by Joe Palumbo
    January 15, 2014

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