Snow Blowers


Flat Roof Snow Removal

March 31st, 2015 prrichar1 Posted in Roof Snow Removal No Comments »

Flat Roof Snow RemovalThis is not exactly a flat roof and this is definitely not the way to remove snow from a roof. The probability of damaging this roof with the back hoe is so high that is almost a given that it will happen. All it takes is one accidental brush with the bucket and the shingles are broken allowing water to penetrate in the spring causing a great deal more damage from water leakage. And that is assuming that the operator is extremely careful and does not make any major mistakes. He could actually put the bucket right through the roof if he pulls a lever the wrong way!

Flat Roof Snow Removal – The Way to Do It

The only way to remove snow from a roof is to shovel it off by hand to ensure that no damage is done to the shingles. In cold weather the shingles are brittle and will crack easily. Even if you are using a shovel and walking on the roof, it is better to leave a couple of inches of snow on the roof to protect the shingles and avoid any damage to the shingles which could lead to further water damage from leaks.

Flat roof snow removal will take more work since the snow will not slide off the roof like the one in the picture. Never the less, if the snow load is too great, someone will need to get up on the roof to shovel the snow off the roof.

Some consumers will also use a snow rake to clear snow off their roofs. This is a shovel with a long pole attached and the shovel is vertical to the roof allowing it to be pulled pushing snow ahead of it and off the roof. This type of snow removal can be accomplished from ground level with no danger to the person removing snow since they are not on the roof. There is also no danger of damaging shingles as well since no one is walking across the roof. A snow rake can also be used on flat roofs to reduce the amount of foot traffic on the roof as well. Avoid collapsed roofs and remove much of the snow to reduce the weight on your roof.

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Snow Thrower for Flat Roof

March 21st, 2015 prrichar1 Posted in Roof Snow Removal No Comments »

snow-blower-for-flat-roofIs there such a thing as a safe snow thrower for flat roofs? We do not think so and we certainly do not recommend the approach this homeowner is taking to clear snow off his roof. It is simply too dangerous on a number of levels to warrant taking the chance on using a snow thrower on your roof. We also wonder how he got it up there in the first place. We will not even speculate since that might give readers the idea that even though there are risks, they might try it instead of using an old fashion shovel to remove the snow from their flat roofs.

Snow Thrower for Flat Roof – Issues to Consider

First of all there is the inherent challenge to raise a heavy snow thrower up to the roof without damaging the building and without hurting someone. Sure you could probably figure out how to do it safely, but is it really worth the effort given the following issues.

Consumers must also avoid getting too close to the edge of the roof. It is a long way down and once the snow thrower goes over the edge even with one tire, there is no way the operator can hold onto it and prevent it from falling.

The tires and the scraper on the snow thrower can potentially damage the shingles or rubber membrane that is found on flat roofs. If a hole is punched in the membrane, water leaks are going to take place for sure and cause a lot more damage. At the very least, shingles will crack and break off causing long-term damage and shorten the life span of the roof.

Not all roofs are design the same. Some can support a great deal of weight in terms of snow load and one person walking on the roof. Add a heavy snow thrower to the roof and there is no telling what will happen.

We strongly suggest that the snow should be shoveled off the roof taking care to avoid damaging the roof in any way.

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Snow Thrower for Flat Rubber Roof

March 7th, 2015 prrichar1 Posted in Roof Snow Removal No Comments »

Snow Thrower for Flat Rubber RoofLet’s start this post by saying we do not recommend this approach shown in this picture on the left. We do not know how he got the snow blower onto the roof and we certainly cannot suggest that consumers even remotely think about this type of solution to get snow off their roofs.  This looks like a flat roof and that usually means it has a rubber membrane to seal the roof or perhaps a tar based membrane. Either way the amount of damage that can be done to the roof by using a snow blower on the roof is huge. Gauging holes in the roof, scraping some of the shingles and tar or rubber off the roof is just the beginning.

Snow Thrower for Flat Rubber Roof – Damages

Using any heavy equipment that can scrape shingles or tear a hole in the roof is just something you do not want to do. Any tear in the fabric allows moisture to enter the roof structure and then into the building below, in this case the house. If this is a flat roof, then the water from the snow when it melts is just going to pour through this hole and into the home.

Water damage spreads quickly, especially if it is a large leak. If it is a large leak then at least it will be noticed right away since the water will just pour in. If it is a small leak then the water will drip in and spread slowly causing mold  and damage to the insulation, the structure and the drywall. This can lead to thousands of dollars in damages.

There is also a safety issue. Suppose you get to close to the edge and both the operator and the snow blower fall off the roof causing further damage. In addition some roofs have weak points which a heavy snow blower could fall through.

We strongly advise that the snow should be shoveled off the roof and never use a snow blower on any roof! A roof is built to handle snow load and not a concentrated heavy load like a person and a snow blower.

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Roof Snow Removal

February 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Roof Snow Removal 1 Comment »

Roof Snow RemovalThere are multiple ways to remove snow from your roof and one of them is a lot safer than the other. But first we need to discuss why you may want to consider roof snow removal in the first place.

The picture on the left really shows how snow can build up in specific places o your roof and while this is not really enough snow to be considered dangerous from a snow load perspective, it is a problem waiting to become a nightmare for someone. When snow builds up like this, especially along the edge of a wall, there is always some spots were the snow melts and water begins to run down along the wall. If this water can find a way inside the roof into your home, there is going to be a lot of water damage. In this specific situation, this is the primary reason for roof snow removal.

For most people it is more a concern about snow load on the roof becoming too much for the rafters to support and it collapses. The weight of snow can be a combination of the weight of snow and sometimes rain during a warm spell that falls on the snow that is on the roof and is absorbed by the snow. It never gets a chance to run off the roof adding to the overall weight of the snow on the roof. As more and more snow is added, the weight becomes too much and the roof collapses.

Roof Snow Removal

As the picture shows this man is up on his roof removing the snow. The roof is relatively flat which is another reason the snow accumulates, making the roof relatively safe to be on and not risk slipping off.  Other roofs are much more steep and many consumers have fallen off their roof and been seriously injured. We do not suggest that you try this approach due to the possible risk of falling. Never the less the snow needs to be removed and this is one of the reasons we are writing this post. We wanted to provide alternatives for removing snow from the roof.

Some consumers will take the safer approach of using what is called a “snow rake”.

The roof shown in this second picture is slightly steeper and could be a large risk for some people attempting to get on the roof to remove the snow. The snow rake which is a scraper attached to a long pole allows the consumer to stand on the ground and scrape the snow off the roof. It can take a bit longer to do and it is hard on the arms since you are constantly working with this long pole. But it is much safer and the only risk you have is slipping on the driveway or the lawn area that you stand on.

Roof Snow Removal – Using a Scraper

It can take awhile to remove the snow and if there is a crust on the snow, it can be difficult to get the scraper to dig into the snow and bring the snow off the roof. However if you are persistent it will come off and you will have the satisfaction of not worrying about the snow load on your roof.  Consumers are cautioned that you still need to move some of the snow away from the home if it really builds up and you will have to remove it from the driveway or sidewalk if it falls on this area.

Having used one of these scrapers several times, I can tell you they work great and are much safer. The pole comes in sections and can be disassembled for storage. I even added a second section to it to extend the reach to the higher areas of my roof so that I did not need to worry about snow load on the secondary roof. We also take special care to make sure that snow does not build up below the skylight were an ice dam can form potentially causing further damage from water leaking inside of our home.

Take the safe route when you are considering roof snow removal.  Make sure that you do not allow the snow load to build up and also make sure that you use a snow rake to remove snow from your roof in a safe manner without worrying about falling off of the roof.

Another area that gets consumers into trouble during the winter are frozen pipes. You may want to read a post about this subject. If you do, click here.

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