You probably don’t want to hear this right now, but a $40 tool could have saved your roof and gutters from hundreds of dollars of snow damage.
It’s called a roof rake and, judging by the look of the roofs on Verona houses this winter, not many of us have one. But with more snow on the way (we’ll pause now to allow you time to cry), we took a few minutes to talk with roofer Kevin Toscano about how to use a roof rake.
A roof rake does just what it’s name implies: It rakes the snow off your roof. By clearing the first few feet of snow from the edges of your roof, you lower your chances of having an ice dam, that is, a build-up of ice that will send snow melt under your shingles and into your house, doing all the damage that water can do to a structure. “Clear the snow from the first three feet up from the gutter”, says Toscano, “which will keep an ice dam from forming.”
With a roof rake, you can do that without climbing a ladder or going out onto the roof, both of which are dangerous in any weather. (See the poor schmoe in the video below for illustration.) Roof rakes come with extension poles that make it easy to reach the necessary roof space of the average Verona home while staying safely on the ground.
The rake won’t, however, rake out ice. “If there’s already ice formed on your roof, you just have to wait for it to melt,” adds Toscano. “I know a lot of people try to chop it out , but that could cause a lot of damage. Plus they could fall, so I don’t recommend that at all.”
Both Major Hardware in Cedar Grove and the Ace Hardware store in Caldwell typically carry roof rakes, but they have been selling out as fast as they get delivered. When you go to the store, you might also want to pick up a few rolls of insulation. Toscano notes that, if your attic is well-insulated, it will keep the heat in your home from rising and melting the snow outside.