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Roof, best method for snow removal

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by unit28, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    I'm hopeing to get a few ideas/ suggestions on clearing snow
    from roofs.

    I raked one roof yeaterday for more than 3 hours with 2 guys.
    It was piled up over 2 feet

    I'm just glad I don't have another one today.
  2. nms0219

    nms0219 Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    My best method is to call someone else to do it. I dont like heights and the last time I got brave to go up on the roof to shovel it off I slipped off and got stuck in the snow in the front yard. Ya that was fun trying to explain how I got hurt at the ER.
  3. absnyder

    absnyder Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    With that much snow you did o.k. Try to get people to do it about every 8-12 inches or less. Sell people on the fact that even with 4-6 inches there roof can get damaged by ice with the thaw freeze effect.
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I agree. For a sloped roof, I tried a long-handled roof rake, but it about killed my arms for the little bit I did get. I owned a flat roof that I shoveled, but had to do it in stages. At one time, I'd thought about adding roof raking to my services, but the insurance convinced me to rethink that one. As builders and arborists know, as soon as both feet leave the ground, insurance rates sky rocket.
  5. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    I don't mind heights.
    I also trim trees.
    Main thing is to be safety concious.

    So starting out, I was on the peaks throwing it down.

    I cleared enough so the rake would reach the rest from the ladder.
    ...yes, the ladder was secured to the house.
    It was two and a half stories.

    So then I'm on the ladder and reaching another 12 plus foot with the rake, dragging 2 feet of snow down that sob.

    Also this was my first roof,
    so I was just wondering of a better way.

    I like the idea of having them done more often.
    Seems like the thing to do.
  6. BOSS550

    BOSS550 Senior Member
    Messages: 212

    Let's see; bucket truck, genie lift, or hire a blind guy come to mind as options:dizzy: :D
    Seriously tho- you could possibly anchor to something on the opposite side of the house then use your climbing saddle and a prussik hitch to work up there. Then you would have both hands free plus you could walk backand forth pushing snow down instead of pulling it on your head from a ladder. May still need the ladder to get up there but that's all. Let us know what you come up with!!
  7. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    I forgot to mention...
    I broke 2 shovels doing this one.
    Lesson learned.

    Slow down take it easy on equipment...make more money too:jester: .

    We charged 80 per hour.

    I guess we should have tried pushing it over but, the other guy wouldn't get close enough to the edge.
  8. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Climb up on roof, take only the top layer off. Remeber, gravity is your friend. Place shovel into snow and slide it off the edge. Continue doing this across the bottom, then start progressing further up. Do not take it down to the shingles as you can and will damage the shingles. Snow is excellent insulation on the roof. Leave 3"-6" on the roof. The snow will also make good fotting for you to walk on. You may have to clear the side walk when done if there is one where the snow will fall.

    Two feet here I would not touch. Once it get's over 2' on a roof with very little pitch then we would bring it down to about 6". A roof with a steep pitch here we take off when it gets to 4'-5' and take it down to the bottom layer which may be 1'. Did one last year with over 6' of snow on it and it all ended up on the deck, which then had to be done for the 3rd time . The yard had roughly 9 feet of compacted snow on the lawn which was there until the end of May.
  9. Ole Tower

    Ole Tower Senior Member
    from MAINE
    Messages: 210

    Roof best methord of Snow Removal

    I Dono? Iassume? theres NO Roof Shovelers Here? Mick Right--as YOU can*t even Rent a Ladder! Whoo! Heres how its Done Guys! First of ALL place Your Ladder & YOU will have to Buy ONE! as YOU Can*t as I said Rent One! & Forget Insurance as Mick Stated Donald Trump Couldn*t afford the Insurance! & with both of the NO NOs mentioned above--Lets Shovel Off a Roof or Two! First Place Your Ladder in the Center! of Your Work Area! Now Climb UP & get to the Top of the ROOF--The PEAK!--One Foot on Each Side!--look Around & See where the Most Snow Is? & Start There! as Usually only ONE Side of Any Roof needs to be Shoveld Off! Start in the Middel & work Both Ways! as at the Peak the Snow will be less deep but will get Deeper as You get close to the Edge Leave a couple of Inches & Shovel Towards the Edge & that Will Build UP a Pile of Snow on the Outer EDGE--Your Saftey NET--& where the Snow Deep! Shove lt in Steeps like Stairs--One Row at a Time until ALL You have LEFT is a Pile a couple of feet High on the Very Roof EDGE Now SIT on YOU BUTT & Slde Down to the Snow left on the Edge & Push the TOP of the Snow OFF w/ your Shovel--& Leave a Foot or So? on the Very EDGE--Slide Over to Your Ladder still On Your BUTT--& Get On Your Ladder & clean Off whats left on the Roofs Edge Moving You Ladder as Needed! & Your DONE Pretty Simple Really! I Dono? as I often Wonder? WHO? came UP with the ROOF Rake IDEA? Probably the GOV of CAL? as HE Have to Have ARMS like a ARNOLD as a ROOF Rake sounds GOOD! but to ME works about as Good as an Ole Bumper JACK as they BOTH look Good on Paper! ME I*LL take a Good Plastic Shovel! any DAY! Have FUN--Ole Tower
  10. absnyder

    absnyder Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Try this again

    :waving: Again, do it before it gets so deep(if you can)I understand most people will call you after its 2+ ft.deep.
    As a roofer first, we get more calls on these than anybody. talk to any of your frequent customers and explain the how much damage ice dams can cause. if you dont know look up ice dam on the web under certainteed.com.

    Next, with a roof w/a steeper pitch you dont need to clear the roof all the way off. The roof rakes aren't even made for that. Clearing the 1st 2-4 feet up from the bottom is all that needed. Then all the snow above it has a place to go when it melts. Unless its a flat roof and there's a weight issue, we never clear a roof completely off. they make the handle so long on the roof rakes not to reach to the peak but so many roofs can be done from the ground.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2007
  11. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    Thanks for all the help.
    This is my first year in the snow biz.
    BTW-I did obtain comm liability.

    Yeah we prolly worked harder than necessary but,
    I can say I did it, and learned the hard way.

    I won't be going back on top ,
    unless a dire need to save a cat is in order.

    Literally though, there was 2 feet of snow across the entire roof
    on all sides.

    Has anyone used a steamer?
    I saw a few people around here offer that to clear ice dams on roofs.

    Just wondering how that workes and what type of machine[specifically] is used.

  12. absnyder

    absnyder Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Important thing is

    Important thing is your out there trying to make xtra cash. Failure is never trying and experience is just as valuable as payup .

    Never used a steamer, but tried a torch once, one of my bigger waste of my life
  13. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Since you seem to have no problem getting up there yourself, how about if you rig up a 2x12 or something similar with some heavy tow ropes. Haul it up there and wedge it into the snow and have two guys on the ground pull on the ropes...sort of a giant snow rake?
  14. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    Thank you for the idea.
    One problem I did find, is vents and pipes that were covered under
    the snow.

    There I was on the ladder yanking the snow down.
    I found a few pipes in the middle of the roof.

    Until I realized it I kept getting hung up.
  15. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    You could use smaller boards, clear around them with a rake, etc. Possibly a good idea to get some photos in the summer or fall so you have reference points, especialyl for things like sunroofs which can be easily damaged and may leak when it thaws.

    You could possibly even do this as a one man job by setting it up and using a small electric winch or a manual come-a-long. For that matter just use an aluminum stepladder and bury it at the peak lengthwise and just haul it downward. Anything that gets a good bite on the snow could work, so long as its wide enough to make the extra effort worth it.
  16. icebladez

    icebladez Member
    from sask
    Messages: 74

    Like a dummy last year i bought a roof rake with the idea that i would go out and make ample beer money..after doing one stinking roof,ya my own!, i said "Now there was a lousy 35$ investment"!..my next big enlightened idea is to get a light little 3hp-2stroke type snow blower,strap on to my back,not go right down to the shingles,and enjoy a couple facials of snow into my face!
  17. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    cleared off my own garage today, this is what fell on the sidewalk, {which was cleared before hand} Tomorrow I'll do the whole roof above the house.:dizzy:
    I did use a single stage and a shovel to get it down, Then a big 2 stage Husqvarna to clean that up.


  18. pmorrissette

    pmorrissette Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    I use an electric snow shovel. It is a small single stage blower, about 16" wide. I got it at Sears a couple of years ago.
  19. Clint S

    Clint S Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I have actually tried something close to this. I made a T out of 2 2x4's and it did not work all that well. The snow weighs way too much. That is why roof rakes are the small width they are. Imagine how much a 1 foot deep 8 foot wide and 10 foot height block of snow would weigh. With enough pulling power I guess you could do it, but not by hand and htere is still the risk of the board flying up or damage to the drip edge if you do not pull straight
    I have already shoveled my roof twice since we have gotten close to 70 inches. I use a snow pusher like this
    You can take a decent chunk and let gravity help you take it down. This is my garage last year. It slopes down good that is over 8 feet. The house was close. You can see the big pile at the end I pushed up with the tractor

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  20. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I have a simple solution for snow on roofs. Just remove the insulation in the attic, and turn up the heat, LOL