Roof Rake Why Bother Roof Rake Warehouse

Roof Rake Why Bother Roof Rake Warehouse

If you live in the northern part of the US, you will have experienced at least one significant snowfall during the winter that results in a buildup of snow on the roof of your home.

While most people rarely give any attention to the snow on their roof (they just think it will melt off and be gone), this snow buildup on your roof can cause significant problems; both from the physical weight of the snow build up and water damage from melting snow.

Snow Is Actually Quite Heavy

The weight of the snow on a roof also varies by area, and most homes are designed to handle a hefty snow load. But in severe winters, you may want to use a roof rake to eliminate the sheer weight of the snow on your roof.

A cubic foot of snow can weigh anywhere from seven pounds (for snow that is new and dry) to 30 pounds for old, compacted snow. Plus, any freezing rain falling on accumulated snow will add more weight.

Icicles Can Mean A Problem

Do you notice long icicles hanging from the edge of your gutters?

What’s the significance of icicles? Icicles are one of the first warning signs that you may have damage to your roof taking place; and you don’t even realize it.

Icicles are the first warning sign that you may have a possible ice dam on your roof; and these ice dams can wreak singular havoc on the integrity of your home’s roof.

Ice Dams, Roof Damage, and A Roof Rake

What exactly is an ice dam? An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of the roof; usually at the gutters or soffit.

When it forms, the water from melting snow then backs up behind the ice dam and creates a standing pool of water that has no way to escape to the gutters. This pool of standing water can leak into your home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, attics, and other areas of your home.

What causes ice dams? Ice dams are usually caused by improper ventilation in the attic and moisture. Moisture is transported to the attic from the heated portion of the home into the unheated attic space.

It usually gets there via holes in the ceiling drywall that were created for lighting, vent pipes, and fans. For example, some homes will have their bathroom exhaust fan vented directly into the attic; and this will cause severe moisture and condensation problems in the attic.

While moisture contained in the vented air is responsible for the condensation problems, the heat contained in the escaping air is the primary cause of the ice damming problem.

The escaping warm air raises the temperature of the attic above 32 degrees, causing any snow on the roof to melt and run down to the colder roof edge, where it re-freezes and turns to ice.

This process of thawing and refreezing is what causes an ice dam; and is also responsible for the long icicles hanging from the gutters on your home.

And since the ice dam will trap any other snow melt into a pool of standing water that can cause significant damage to your roof and attic, you need to use a roof rake to eliminate the ice dams and remove the excess from your roof.

Using A Roof Rake to Remove An Ice Dam

Properly removing an ice dam can be quite dangerous if you dont take the proper precautions and use common sense. For example, use an aluminum ladder and never walk directly on the roof itself.

The mixture of slippery ice buildup, the natural slope of your roof, and shifting snow makes for very unstable footing.

Gravity and a good quality roof rake can make this job a little easier; and prevent the creation of ice dams that can create water headaches to your roof and attic.

Some Tips On Using A Roof Rake

Using a roof rake to remove the snow and ice dams from your roof is going to be just as physically demanding as shoveling the snow out of the driveway; but it is also a great winter workout.

Just remember to keep in mind safety first; and use common sense. Most injuries when using a roof rake happen from falling ladders.

Common sense means level ladder positioning before you even climb on it (you may even want to have someone hold the ladder at its base as you work with your roof rake).

Once in a stable position, position your roof rake and begin pulling the snow down the slope of the roof line. Never pull the snow across the roof as it may break off the shingles under the snow.

Work with the roof’s natural slope to take advantage of gravity and make the use of your roof rake a little easier. And do not pound or chop on the roof to break up any ice or snow. You could damage the underlying roof shingles if you do.

Also, do not over reach yourself; you can upset the ladder balance even if you have someone holding it from blow. Instead, climb down and reposition the ladder rather than stretching over to get that last little bit of snow off with your roof rake.

You may also want to create a small channel through any ice dam build ups you discover so that the standing water trapped by the ice dam will be able to flow through to the gutters naturally.

It doesn’t need to be a foot wide… Just an inch or two will work fine. Remember, its not necessary to remove all of the ice in the gutters or the ice dam itself if you have removed the excess snow from the roof.

After all, it will melt when the temperatures rise; and you are trying to insure that any standing water on your roof has an escape route to your gutters.

Choosing A High Quality Roof Rake

When looking for a roof rake, take the time and choose a higher quality roof rake. They are available in both aluminum and plastic; and the plastic ones have a tendency to wear out very quickly.

Plus the aluminum roof rakes are not only stronger, but very light and easy to handle as well. And they are available in a multitude of sizes; though a 20 foot roof rake should be good enough for most homes.

When it comes to choosing a roof rake, it’s like anything else; you get what you pay for. You may save a little money upfront by buying a plastic roof rake; but you will wind up replacing it after a year or two (depending on the frequency of use).

An aluminum roof rake is not only stronger and easier to handle; but you should get years of use out of the aluminum roof rake as well.

A Roof Rake and Your Home

Depending on where you live and the severity of your winters, purchasing and using a good quality roof rake can save you a lot of heartache and expensive roof repairs.

You’ll not only be able to eliminate the sheer weight of snowpack on your roof, but you can also be proactive and remove any standing water on your roof that could lead to any water damage problems as well.


Leave a Reply