One of the great things about living in New England is that winter eventually ends. But while it is here, its best to fall into some Zen state and accept that a shovel and a roof snow rake are God's way of telling you to book a flight to Florida. For those of you out of the know, like my children, a roof snow rake is a 20-ft-long aluminum hoe that homeowners us to lighten the structural load on their roof and to reduce the formation of an ice dam. Using these tools can be physically demanding and hazardous. Popular Mechanics Magazine recently had an article that listed five cardinal safety rules to remember while using a roof rake.
Rule 1: First, inspect
If the roof is in bad shape, the roof rake may actually damage the shingles. Prior to the winter, inspect your roof and repair any damaged shingles.
Rule 2: Beware icicles
The bigger the icicle, the harder it falls. It is easy to get injured without really trying. I nearly had a big one hit me today. I should pay more attention to my own blogs.
Rule 3: Falling snow damages shrubs
Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do about this one.
Rule 4: Right back at ya’
You are pulling the snow off the roof right towards yourself. Be aware of your position and stand far enough back to avoid the snow landing on you.
Rule 5: Beware power lines
It’s an aluminum pole. If you touch the power line, your family is going to have bigger problems than an ice dam. Perhaps my next article should be on life insurance.