How to Pick out the Right Roof Rake for Roof Snow Removal
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You’d like to buy a roof rake to remove the snow on your roof. You’re doing this in order to keep away ice dams and prevent structural damage to your home or business. But not all roof rakes are created equal.
Some roof rakes are easier to use than others. Some damage your shingles, whereas others don’t. Some allow you to clear the snow off your entire roof if you choose, while others limit your reach.
Based on many years of providing ice dam removal and roof snow removal, I have a few suggestions for roof rakes.
The best roof rakes have 4 points in common:
1. Most importantly: the rake should have small rollers, bumpers, or wheels near the blade of the rake. These are important because they keep the blade of the rake off of the surface of your roof. Without the rollers, the blade drags directly on the shingles as you move the rake up and down your roof to remove the snow. This scrapes the granules off your roof – which is NOT good. The granules provide fire-resistance and protection from the sun’s UV rays. Removing these granules can drastically shorten the life of your roof. Even worse, without these rollers or wheels, there’s a good chance you may catch the tabs of the shingles during the snow raking process and tear entire shingles from your roof. The bottom line is if your roof rake doesn’t have rollers or bumpers on the blade, at best you’ll be scraping the granules off your shingles. And if your roof loses its granules, you’d better start shopping around for a new roof.
2. A slight bend in the handle is good. It allows you to move the handle vertically as you rake the roof, whereas a straight rake only lets you push back and forth. A slightly bent roof rake is more versatile and easier to use.
3. Plastic is better than metal. Plastic is lighter in weight, and if the rake slips or if you accidentally scrape too hard, you’re less likely to chip a shingle or rub off the granules. Unless you use a wire brush to clean your teeth, you probably know how plastic is sometimes gentler and better for certain tasks. But (again) should you opt for a metal roof rake, just make certain it has rollers or plastic/rubber bumpers on the blade of the rake.
4. A telescoping slide feature is handy. In fact, a protractible roof rake is the only way to go if you want all the snow off your roof, because it allows you to reach the farthest parts of your roof, up near the peak. Straight ones are all you need if you’re only removing snow from the valleys and overhangs of your roof.
One more suggestion:
When you buy your roof rake, buy a couple of spare extension rods for the handle. Even if you think your roof rake is long enough, there may come a time when you want to be able to reach farther up. Plus, you’ll want a couple of extra extensions on-hand in case part of your roof rake breaks – which, unfortunately, can happen all the time when you’re roof-raking.
Now you can go shopping!