Snow accumulation on your roof is something you’re going to have to deal with if you live in area with heavy snowfall.
Some viewers may consider the picture above, a snow cladded roof scene appealing and romantic, it poses a significant danger to your home as it may do some substantial harm to the roof.
It’s difficult to avoid the build-up of snow on your roof, so the best you can do is find a decent roof shovel to help clear it.
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What is a roof shovel?
A roofing shovel is a large curved blade, that some call a roof rake, that works very differently from standard shovels.
It is a type of rake that is used from ground level to clear the snow from the roof without having to physically climb on to the roof and shoveling the snow manually.
For such a shovel, the handle is fixed to the top of the edge. This allows you to drag snow off the roof in hopefully large sheets of snow.
Is it safe to use a regular shovel on the roof?
You might well be tempted to get on your roof and clear off all the snow that has been building up.
It’s risky because you may do more harm than the snow.
There was a time that the only option to removing heavy snowfall was to physically get on the roof and shovel it off, even though it was dangerous.
Today the need to put ourselves at risk is hugely decreased thanks to roof shovels/rakes.
How safe is a roof shovel?
Snow removal can be physically demanding, as well as time intensive.
With several forecasts pointing to another higher than typical snowfall season, preparedness is more critical than ever.
Getting the right equipment goes a long way towards avoiding future hazards like ice jams and physical damage.
Climbing on the roof of a house and shoveling off the snow by hand can damage the shingles and vent covers. A roof rake does not take these risks if misused but protects you from falling off of the roof. Owning a roof rake provides a safe solution to slipping off of the roof and injuring yourself.
It is also a cost effective investment that will last you many winters.
There is a controversy as to whether a roof needs to have the snow shoveled off or not.
The yes side states that the snow is heavy and that the structure of the home is not able to sustain the heavy weight load. That the snow build up causes ice dams and icicles that ruin the house further. They further state that the snow may slide off unexpectedly and becomes a hazard to anyone on the ground that did not notice it and therefore is a safety issue.
The no side states that the snow provides a layer or insulation for the home, that the snow load is evenly distributed and therefore will not cause damage to the house. That shoveling the snow off creates ice dams and icicles that cause damage to the house structure.
Wow two sides of a coin as to shovel the roof or not, what is the right answer? We believe that both are correct. Some parts of the world have very heavy snowfall and the structure of the home is under extreme distress with this load and the roof needs to be shoveled off even if ice dams and icicles do form. Having a roof collapse and not having a home is more devastating than having icicles and ice dams. Understanding how much snow you get where you live is critical to your choice.
The roof of a house can handle around 20lbs per square foot of snow before they become distressed. If the snow is icy, wet or fluffy will determine how many inches on the roof are ok before the roof becomes distressed.
- 1 cubic meter of Snow, freshly fallen weighs 160 kilograms [kg]
- 1 cubic foot of Snow, freshly fallen weighs 9.98847 pounds [lbs]
Below is a snow weight calculator that takes into consideration the snow type to help you make your determination.
How to use a roof shovel
Here are a few tips in using a roof shovel, while helping to reduce the risk:
- Never put the roof rake straight on the rooftop. Keep it away from the surface of the roof approximately 1 to 2 inches above the roof.
- If the snow is very deep, shovel the snow off in layers until you reach 2 inches above the roof. This will help shield the roof, shingles and vents from the rake grating on them, which prevents damage.
In a hurry?
Our top choice is…
Roof Shovel ComparisonTable
|Weight||Clearing Width||Clearing Depth||Handle Height||Handle Material|
SnowPeeler Roof Snow Removal Tool
Snow Joe RJ208M
Roof Shovel Review
The SnowPeller is a secure, quick, and easy to use roofing tool as no ladder is required. With a simple step, the blade cuts through the snow that falls off the roof through gravity onto the snow slide canvas. Thus, less physical stress on your body; which lessens back and shoulder pain.
This Roof Snow Removal Tool won’t ruin your roof. The tool has Glide Pads, which ensure that your roof is not damaged. By making snow removal simple daily, the SnowPeeler is your realistic, cost-effective way to secure your roof against ice jams and 6 M (20 FT) snow loads.
It has a sectional handle consisting of 4×1.5 m (5 ft.) aluminum poles with quick-snap connections for easy deployment and storage. The feature allows for easy access to hard-to-reach areas. So, it’s suitable for fast clearance of roof snow for single-story houses, cabins/chalets, and 2.75 M (9 FT) detached garages.
Also, it slices effortlessly through new and hard-packed snow. Besides, the sturdy commercial-grade aluminum blade is fitted with bracelets to improve its power and make it easy to slice easily through all kinds of snow. This roof shovel also features interchangeable frame attachments for use from the ground or directly from the rooftop; have peace of mind with its Industry-Leading 2-Year Extended Warranty.
2. Snow Joe RJ208M Telescoping Snow Shovel Roof Rake
The Snow Joe RJ208M has a twist and lock telescoping pole that reaches 1.8 m (6 ft) to 6.4 m (21 ft) in length to reach the higher aspects of your structure.
It comes with a blade that is 15.24 cm (25 in) wide so clearing a path will take little time.
This rake can be utilized in the non snow months to clear leaves or reach to retrieve the Frisbee off the roof safely.
3. AVALANCHE! Original Roof Snow Removal System
The Avalanche Original 500 is the best method for removing snow from the roof, which in effect protects against ice dam build-ups.
Two simple rolling wheels hold the rake head a fraction of an inch away from your shingles, avoiding any shingle damage.
Along with snap-on couplers, the shovel has four 4-foot parts that extend this shovel to a 20 foot length. Having the ability to adjust the pole length makes for easy storage as well as the ability to have the shovel at any length you require.
The roof rake has a lightweight handle made from fiberglass that helps to minimize body tension.
When cleaning the roof, the retractable plastic slide easily removes snow from the roof and helps avoid snow packs forming in the gutters.