Snow Removal Tool For Roofs – A Guide

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Last Updated on August 12, 2021 by Cristina

If you live in an area that has heavy snow in winter, it is critical to own a snow removal tool for roofs to help clear snow from your roofs. Excessive roof snow is dangerously heavy and can form destructive ice dams.  The snow roof rake can clean your roof of any snow, leaving it safe and dry.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, wet snow can weigh about 21 pounds per square foot.  This poses a great danger to your roof; the heavier the snow, the bigger the risk of structural damage. That’s why investing in a roof rake can be an important decision and a useful piece of equipment to own.

The snow rake enables you to clean snow off your roof easily while remaining safe on the ground.

We will look at the different features you need to look at when investing in a roof rake to end up with the right option.

Choosing The Right Snow Removal Tool For Roofs

A roof rake is an excellent tool to help you clear off the excess snow from your roof. It comprises a blade and an extending handle.   These are the two most important things to consider when buying one.

The Blade

The roof rake blades come in two types:

  • A slicer – it functions like a cheese slicer
  • A scoop – it’s shaped like a traditional snow shovel

Slicer-blade Snow Rakes

Slicer-blade roof rakes are operated by pushing them upward rather than pulling them downward. This blade operates against the grain, so it must have wheels or coasters to avoid damaging the shingles.

Slicer-style snow rakes have a big advantage over the trailing sheet.  It can also be used to remove snow along with the sheet, out of gutters and away from shrubs and plants.

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Scoop-blade Snow Rakes

These blades are operated by placing them at the top of the roof and dragging them towards the ground. This movement allows the force of gravity to help you clear the snow.  However, it has two downsides – it sheds excess snow onto shrubs, into gutters and plants along the foundation. In addition, you have to be careful not to push it upward and potentially damage the shingles.

Choosing The Right Snow Removal Tool For Roofs

The Extending Handle

Besides the blade, look for a rake that extends far enough to reach the roofline. It must also be light enough for you to lift it and use it comfortably. Most roof rakes come with an adjustable pole that can go up to 14 to 22 feet high and be shortened to 8 feet for storage purposes.  The longer the pole, the higher it can reach the roof.  However, longer poles can also be bulky and might require more muscle to lift and manoeuvre.

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Other Factors To Consider When Buying Snow Removal Tool For Roofs

Rake Heads

Snow roof rake heads come in a variety of depths from a narrow 3-inch to a wide 10-inches.  The widths are about 12 to 24 inches. The larger the rake head, the more snow it can remove in a single pull.  If the snow is wet and heavy, it requires additional physical strength to pull it, leading to back and shoulder fatigue.


The roof rakes come in a variety of weights between 4 to 14 pounds.  Most of the weight is concentrated on the rake head.

The heavier the rake head, the more it sinks deeply into the snow on the roof.  This allows you to remove a good amount of snow with each pull.

On the flip side, heavy roof rakes require more muscle and strength to lift and position.

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The snow roof rake should be made of strong and lightweight material.  Aluminium is the best material of choice for roof rake poles.

Rake heads are made from moulded polyethene, aluminium, or heavy-duty plastic. Aluminium rake heads are the most common and most durable; however, they are also the heaviest.

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Cost Considerations

Snow roof rake can be high in price. The cheapest models are made from inexpensive materials and may not be durable to even serve you for more than a single season. The more expensive roof rakes feature better quality materials and provide you with good service for many winters.

How To Remove Snow From The Roofs

Now that you have the right tool, it’s time to remove the snow from your roof. Here are two important considerations to make before removing the snow.

Know When Your Roofs Snow Removal Is Required

Before you remove any snow from your roof, first determine whether you need to do it. Your building’s roof is designed and constructed to withstand a significant amount of weight from the snow. It is unlikely that an average amount of snow will cause your roof to collapse.  However, a significant accumulation of snow on your roof could be alarming.

Know When Your Roofs Snow Removal Is Required

Do note that the weight of the snow matters more than its depth.  Heavy, wet snow is what to watch for more than the dry, powdery one as it weighs more. If you are not sure what kind of snow you are facing, pick a shovel or two of snow from the ground and see what kind of snow it is.

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Use The Proper Technique

Your roof is originally designed to withstand harsh weather, but it is not immune to damage.

If you misuse the wrong tool or use the right tool, you can damage the shingles opening up your roof to many other problems.

Choose a snow roof rake that has small wheels or bumpers to keep it from scraping the shingles. If you can’t find one, choose plastic snow that is less likely to cause damage than a metal one.

Always clear the roof starting with the roof overhangs up towards the roof’s peak, clearing about a foot at a time.

Do not try to clear too much snow in one pass as you risk packing it together, making it more difficult to remove because it’s heavier.

Use The Proper Technique


Always consider your safety first when removing snow from your roof.

Snow removal tools for roofs should only be used when standing firmly on the ground.  We recommend that you don’t use it when standing on a ladder.

Trying to balance a long pole while navigating the snow-slick ladder is highly dangerous and prone to slip and fall.  Even if you think you have great balancing skills, the weight of the snow pulling off the roof could easily knock you down.

That’s why we advise you to use roof rakes only on single-story homes!

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