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  • Writer's pictureCarole Chantler

Removing snow and ice with no ladder

Snow on rooftops
Photo by Maria Orlova:

Here is how to remove snow and ice from your roof when you don't have a ladder or don't want to go up one in the winter. 1) using a rope to remove snow from a roof. if you don't have a ladder, tie something heavy to one end of your rope. Toss the rope over the roof of your home. If you have a tall house, avoid this. The other person grabs the end you just threw and walks it back to the side of the house you are standing on. If done correctly, you will have a length of rope that spans the length of a wide section of your roof that is dug into the snow. Now, simply tug at both ends of the rope in a sawing motion. Soon enough, the rope should dislodge the snow on the roof and it will come down at once. 2) heating cable. Your local hardware store likely sells a heating cable that you can string across your roof during fairer weather. Once installed, it simply needs to be turned on to get it working. The wire is just warm enough to begin melting the snow. If done before a storm, you find no snow buildup on your roof. If done after a storm, you will have a mini avalanche as the snow falls. Just don't stand where it will be falling. 3) using a roof rake. While it’s not particularly glamorous or clever, it gets the job done. A snow roof rake is just that—a rake featuring a rubber “squeegee” blade at its end with an incredibly long telescoping handle. Some rakes on the market are as long as 21 feet! With rake in hand, plunge it into the upper area of a patch of snow you’d like to remove. Then, once you’ve hit solid roof, begin pulling the rake backward. You should see the snow slide down well before the rake even hits your gutter. As with all of the previous snow removal strategies, ensure nothing is immediately below the snow’s point of impact. We love this method because, while more labour-intensive, it is a more deliberate way of removing snow. 4) using de-icer. Do not use rock salt on your roof. It will ruin the roof due to the fact it is corrosive. Instead, find a non-corrosive product made up of calcium chloride. Instead of just throwing or spraying it on the roof, fill pantyhose with the product. From here hang the pantyhose on the roof so it hangs down following the natural grade. They should melt channels into the snow, which will allow drainage and, soon enough, will clear the snow from the roof entirely. 5) using a de-icer to remove ice dams. An ice dam occurs is when ice has accumulated to the extent, even as it melts, water cannot flow into the gutters. Due to the fact that gutters are plugged with ice, it allows the water to pool and freeze again. Now using de-icer to carve channels out of these dams, will take care of the problem so no one gets a face full of sharp ice.

Things to avoid when clearing the roof:

  • metal shovels

  • loading weak areas

  • not looking where you are putting the snow

  • forgetting the safety gear

  • going it alone

  • using salt


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