This is a Snow Joe snow shovel roof rake, a telescoping snow-clearing device that is designed to remove snow from your home’s roof.
There are a bunch of different models on the market, but all seem to have the same basic features – a telescoping handle and wide raking blade. Some blades are made of plastic, others of aluminum.
This seems to be a neat solution for clearing off snow from your roof without a ladder. Why remove the snow? I’m guessing it’ll help to prevent icicles, ice dams, and unexpected heaps of snow falling down upon your head as you walk to the car.
Some of the companies selling these point out that snow can weigh a LOT, and that clearing off some of the snow can help prevent damaging levels of snow from loading up on your roof.
Have you used something like this, and if so, what do you think of it? Have you used something you think would work better?
I have used that style for years. It get’s very tireing depending on how high you are need to use it, how much snowfall, etc.
On my list of alternatives to look into are the roof razors, snow avalanch, etc.
Different style, hopefully less taxing on the dexterity to use it.
Having used a snow-rake like this on 12-14″ of snow, I concur. It gets old in a hurry.
This season (this week, in fact) I’m building a DIY version of a “snow avalanche” type rake. I’d buy a real one but they look awfully flimsy for the three-digit asking price. For the pole, I’ll use an aluminum tree pruner pole (American Tree Service Supply sells tree pruners up to 36′ long).
We’re just outside of Syracuse NY, where the average winter snowfall is 120″ (3+ meters for our metric friends). So having a roof rake is a necessity, and it gets used frequently.
I only have to do one side of the roof on our house, the north side that doesn’t get any sunlight, and that side also had to seal with an attic space that could use some better insulation in spots. So you have the combination of some escaping heat, with snow that builds up and never melts off completely due to lack of sun. And underneath you get the ice sheet. So after every snowfall, as part of my snow clearing ritual, I spend a few minutes to also clear that portion of the roof with my snow rake which prevents the damaging ice from building up.
I don’t find it too much work, and it gets done quickly (a couple of minutes). The roof rake is light and easy to use. And most of the snow we get here is lake effect snow, so it is rather light and fluffy to begin with, so not much effort is required to pull down the relatively light fresh snow.
I’m also in the Syracuse area and the snow is plentiful. Basically getting the snow off is a way to keep the roof in tip top shape, and helps prevent even the possibility of ice damage, and keeps unnecessary weight off the roof. If you keep at it, then you’re also protected from unexpected blizzards dropping several feet of snow at once.
I’ve used roof rakes similar to the one you have posted and they all work to a certain degree. Plastic ones are more likely to brake over extended use, and if one of the big storms are coming, you’ll be hard pressed to find any in stock locally.
You also have to be careful with how far extended the shovel is. I’ve broken shovels at the plastic midpoint from having them at full extension and accidentally loading it too hard.
The best are definitely the ones that are modified to cut underneath the snow and then have some vinyl or plastic material attached to let the snow slide right off. you can see several youtube videos and I think someone started selling their version of it online.
Here’s an example:
Mine is a (made in Canada) True Temper (Ames) 193055510 (UPC 049206038790) that has a 2 foot x 6 inch head and a 17 foot extension handle. It is reasonably effective if you don’t let the snow get too deep, too heavy or too icy. I use it on my garage roof and the low roof over my dining room and “Florida Room”. It sells for about $47 at Home Depot.
roof rakes? while ice buildup and possible damage or injury from falling ice or snow are valid uses, the most important is the removal of excess snow to prevent roof collapse. a very real danger at times
Aren’t our roofs in the Great North engineered for intense snow loads?
I have a snow rake, but of the variety where there are three aluminum tube extensions which can snap together to create different lengths. But I don’t use it much now that I beefed up my roof structure and got it up to R45 with continuous ventilation and no thermal bridging.
I just checked my roof and I still don’t have any snow accumulation yet. Maybe it’s because I live in Miami. But I seem to have misplaced my sun block. 🙂
Since I retired I’ve become a “snowbird” and I leave my snow rake in the garage for my house-sitter son. While I winter a bit northwest of you – there is not much snow on Sanibel.
Fred, Sanibel Island, and the west coast in general, is a great location. Certainly a little slower and calm compared to the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area. If we can just keep dodging the hurricanes I guess it beats shoveling snow.
I’ve used them in my past maintenance life. Some of the condo buildings had roofs that were nearly flat and if a snow drift got big enough, it would cause the drywall seams to crack on the inside. We’d go out with those and snow blowers to drag the snow down and then blow it out of the way. We used some by Ames that were very similar, but weren’t telescoping. With our heavy snow, I don’t think there is any way that would’ve worked for us. Ours had 8′-10′ extension sections with the spring loaded button. They didn’t store as nicely, but they wouldn’t pull apart when your dragging 2-3′ of snow off the roof.
Like others I use the kind with snap together poles. The yard slopes away from my house so I actually bought two to use the extra lengths of pole to get a higher reach in places.
Last years record winter in the Northeast left lots of houses in our subdivision ( all built the same) with leaks from ice dams. Ours never had any. I do wish there was a better way to control the “depth of cut” so to speak so I was scrapping along the shingles themselves.
As someone mentioned you then need to blow away the piles of compacted snow that fell from the roof.
I’m looking at putting in solar panels on the roof and the solar company has advised to only use ones with a plastic blade on the panels as opposed to metal.
Had a DIY one many years ago, made from scrap metal pipe and leftover wall panelling/plywood bolted to the end. It was slightly heavy, but was incredibly long enough to reach up on the roof of a two-story house.
The light, fluffy stuff can pile on your roof all season and it’s not a problem. It’s when the sleet and freezing rain or warm weather turns that snow into heavy, heavy stuff that you really need it off there before you get a collapsed roof
I primarily use one because the overhang over the garage is built incorrectly, so it is weak and will sag under too much weight. Somebody mis-measured while they were building our garage and the birds mouth on the rafters missed the wall and they had to make them deeper than they should have been.
When we get high accumulations, sometimes I also have to rake the north side of our roof because we’ll get ice dams. The roof is properly vented, but sometimes the vents get covered and the melting and thawing cycle will build up ice dams anyway.
Raking the roof isn’t bad, the worst part is when I have to rake the south side and trudge through the drifts trying to get to the roof.
I was glad I had one last winter. The Boston area got a ridiculous amount of snow, more than I have ever seen. About 9 feet total accumulation I think.