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How to safely use a roof rake

January 14, 2019 | Laura King-Homan | how does that work, safety, tips
Man using a roof rake in winter.

Even if it hasn’t snowed significantly, you may still need to use a roof rake on your home.

The repeated freeze and thaw of winter, especially when there has been snow, can damage your home’s roof. Roof rakes allow you to remove the snow from the roof while staying safely on the ground. Remember these tips to ensure snow removal is safe.

  1. Inspect your roof.Often done before the snow falls, an inspection will prevent hooking a loose shingle. Also check gutter looseness, which can be magnified when raking snow.
  2. Beware of power lines.An aluminum roof rake is just as dangerous as a ladder around power lines.
  3. Watch for icicles.They may be pretty, but they’re also dangerous if they fall from an eave. One cubic foot of ice equals about 62 pounds.
  4. Gravity is real.The steeper the roof, the faster the snow will fall when you rake it.
  5. Falling snow can damage shrubs. Protect plantings by covering them with plywood. You can also take off snow in small amounts to lessen the load of snow.
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About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the supervisor, Brand and Communication Operations, at Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan >

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