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When winter weather reports show snow, it means it’s time to hunker down. After the storm, you may have your own tried-and-true routine for shoveling and clearing your walkways, but you also need to turn your attention to your roof.
Snow and ice on your roof isn’t a case of out of sight, out of mind. Ice dams and leaks are a serious problem every winter, and, since your roof can gather just as much snow and ice as the ground around your home, it’s going to need clearing.
Before the next blizzard hits where you live, take the time to gather a few key tools, like snow rakes, roof shovels, and roof melt, so you’re prepared to tackle the piles of snow and slicks of ice on your shingles. Otherwise, plan to spend time removing ice dams—or worse.
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1. Arctic Melt Roof Melt Pucks
Just like you’d salt your driveway, your roof needs roof melt. Made of calcium chloride, these pucks are tossed onto the roof to melt away any ice that builds up. Regularly using these pellets can help clear away accumulating ice, making it a necessary step in ice dam prevention.
2. Garelick 21-foot Aluminum Snow Rake
Rather than getting out the ladder, investing in a snow rake made for clearing off your roof is a necessity. This aluminum roof rake, which extends 21 feet in length, cuts through snow to clear it away.
This snow rake is designed to protect your roof in the process. With shingle-saving rollers, the snow rake’s blade never actually touches the roof as it glides through the snow.
Weighing just under 6 pounds, despite its length, this snow rake is lightweight so you can save your arm strength for shoveling the driveway.
3. Snowpeeler Premium 30-foot Roof Rake
If your roof needs something with a little more reach, you can size-up to this 30-foot snow rake with a built-in slide that allows it to easily protract and retract to guide the snow away.
The Snowpeeler is designed to work with both a powdery mix and packed-in snow. This makes it a fantastic option if you’ve let your roof go a little too long without clearing.
It runs just under 15 pounds, so it’s a bit more heavy duty for those jobs that need some rugged motion behind them.
4. Frost King 60-foot Roof De-icing Cable Kit
If you know that your roof is susceptible to ice dams, then you might need to bring the heat – literally. If you’ve already tried roof melt when working toward ice dam prevention and know that it’s not heavy duty enough, then a roof de-icing cable may be the answer.
(Don’t ever, ever use a blowtorch to heat up your roof!)
These cables get plugged in and warm up the roof to prevent ice from forming. This is particularly ideal for those with cold attics or upper floors that only make your roof a chillier place for ice to build up.
This will require a bit of ladder work and even crawling up on the roof, so we recommend putting these cables up before the first snow has even hit the ground. De-icing cables work best when turned on before the snow and ice start to fall to allow your roof to get pre-heated.
5. Snow Gutter Guards
After clearing your gutters from leaves in the fall, installing some snow gutter guards help ready them for the next season. They’ll protect your gutters from snow and ice and make it easier to clear away any snow with your roof shovel.
These guards create a “speed bump” for snow as it begins to melt away. Rather than falling into the gutter, the snow will stay put until you and your snow rake are ready for it.
These snow gutter guards are particularly helpful for those with a metal roof who find that snow slides into the gutters once it begins to melt.
6. Mallet with Impact Absorption
If you’ve tried everything to work toward ice dam prevention, but you’re still finding bulky packs of ice on your roof, then it may be time for a mallet.
This is one of the more dangerous ways to clear away snow and ice, but it may be necessary for ice that just won’t melt. Once you’ve used some roof melt and let it do its job, you can climb onto the roof to smash away any remaining ice.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Snow rakes and roof melt help keep your roof clear of ice and snow