Excessive snowfall and a month of below-freezing temps lead me to introduce to you our newest tool. A 24′ Shovel Roof Rake. I wish you could tell how completely laborious it was to maneuver, because a photo makes it look carefree. Snow is heavy, so all muscles engaged.
Basically, until this month, buying this tool seemed like the last thing we needed. Our roof isn’t flat, and as long as we’ve lived here (and at the other house, for that matter), the snow has always melted away reasonably quickly thanks to the unpredictability of New York winters with the alternating below- and above-freezing day temps. The last month has been different, and a few weeks ago on a (still frightfully cold but) sunny day, we began to see the beginning signs of a slow melt and ice damming (damning). We had 24″ icicles in literally… hours.
What Pete knew that I didn’t was that if we clear away the snow on the roof, we could help prevent the damming at the gutters, eliminating the snow up there that could turn to liquid and refreeze as icicles, or worse, not be able to leak over the gutters already filled with ice and leach into the house. There was one day that he was up there with a shovel, and maybe also with the electric snowblower which is effective but definitely not recommended by me or the manufacturer, and we saw an immediate improvement with the development of those icicles. Back in business, our gutters would not be torn down (well, hopefully not).
Climbing on the roof every time every time we get some substantial accumulation just isn’t as awesome as it sounds, even if there is a 4′ snow cushion below to catch your fall, hence the ~$50 purchase of the roof rake
The roof wasn’t the only concern, our treehouse that we assumed was perfectly structural also showed signs of severe bowing in the 1×2 cross braces for the roof, which in hindsight was obviously too flimsy of a board for the application. You can kind of see this in the above photo, where I spent a solid half hour trying to relieve some of the hundreds of pounds of snow from the rooftop sliver by sliver. Live and learn, and in the spring we’ll bring in 2×4 roofing reinforcements.
I’m pretty sure I assumed this thing was in the neighborhood of ~$24.99 when Pete told me that he ordered it because it’s a shovel, that is until I went to check out our Amazon Order History to see exactly which product we bought and found that when we ordered the price was twice that; it’s quite a bit more now, come to find, but still a nice-to-have winter accessory in our tool arsenal. Especially if it’s helping us to prevent the gutters from pulling themselves off the roofline. Just price-shop around, OK?