Winter in New England is beautiful. Fresh snowfalls are a thing of beauty. The crisp, clean white snow on evergreens, hillsides and houses are the makings of Christmas cards and breathtaking sights.
During storms, there is nothing as comforting as being home in a cozy warm house.
But as beautiful as the snow can be, the totals add up. It is quite common to reach over 100 inches a season.
Without thaws in between storms, the totals add up on roofs and can cause a lot of damage. It is common to see barns collapse under the weight of the snow, sheds and small shelters usually have to be shoveled or they too will collapse.
And, this is true of home roofs as well.
The weight of snow varies greatly. This is all dependent on the water content of the snow from 1% to 33%, this translates into 1 pound per cubic foot to 21 pounds per cubic foot.
Snow buildup is roughly considered to be 1.25 pounds for 1 square foot of snow, 1" deep.
Ice buildup also needs to be considered -- this is believed to be 5.2 pounds for every inch of thickness.
And lastly, when it rains, the weight of the snow on the roof increases rapidly.
Roughly speaking, 20" of snow on a roof translates into 1.25 pounds X 20 = 25 pounds per foot.... this number would increase with ice or wet snow....
Due to these factors, it is important to remove the snow from the roof.
The best way to do this?
Well, some people climb on their roof and shovel it like you do a walk way.
But, there is also another method, that can be simpler.
And here is the roof rake in action. You stand on the ground and drag the snow off the roof, being careful not to scrape the shingles. It is a great upper body workout! It is very hard work and drags snow onto the ground. Sometimes, these snowbanks can be very deep, so be careful not to scrape the snow onto a walkway or in front of a door.