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What Is a Roof Snow Rake?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2014
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A roof snow rake is a tool designed for use in removing snow from the roof of a building, usually a house or similar residence. The tool typically consists of a long metal handle, which may be adjustable, which ends in a wide, flat blade. This blade is typically not sharp and is usually made of metal, plastic, or a rubberized surface to prevent damage to a roof during use. A roof snow rake is commonly used in areas with very cold winters, in which excess snow buildup on roofs can cause property damage, but does not have the individual “teeth” typically associated with a rake.

Also called a snow roof scraper, a roof snow rake is usually made with a metal handle that is typically made from aluminum to be fairly lightweight. This handle is normally quite long, allowing a person to use the rake while comfortably on the ground, though a ladder may be necessary for roofs of multi-floor buildings. The handle can also be adjustable or telescoping, consisting of individual segments of tubing that can collapse into each other and lock when extended. This allows the user of a roof snow rake to adjust the handle to reach different areas of a roof and still easily reach the closest edge of the roof as well.

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The end of a roof snow rake typically has a large, wide, flat surface that is similar to a blade, though it is not actually sharp. This blade is often made from metal, usually allowing it to be more durable when dealing with dense snow or ice. Metal blades can potentially cause damage to the roof of a building, however, so some rakes have a plastic blade or a metal piece with a rubberized edge. Some models of roof snow rake also use a metal blade that has a set of rollers placed on the edge of it; these rollers prevent the edge of the blade from coming into contact with the roof surface while still allowing the blade to move snow.

Snow buildup on a roof can cause damage to the roof, either through moisture damage or due to the weight of the snow. This can be made worse when snowfall alternates with periods of sunshine, which can melt the snow into water that then refreezes during the night into ice. A roof snow rake works much like a standard rake used to gather leaves. The blade of the roof snow rake is extended beyond an area to be raked, and the user then pulls this blade back toward himself or herself, pulling the snow off the edge of the roof.

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