I recently had cause to borrow a roof rake from a neighbor. If you don’t live in an area that gets snow, you may not know that having snow piled up on your roof (especially a flat or shallowly angled roof) can lead to water leaks inside your home. So anyway, I have a structurally unsound front porch, and I needed to get the snow off of the porch roof because I want the porch to stay attached to the house until we can repair it in the summer.

Here’s a photo of a roof rake in action:

man using roof rake to scrape snow off roof

With thanks to Northern Tool & Equipment (Item #150854)

I will say that this fellow makes the job look deceptively easy — his roof is low and he is able to get relatively close to the building. Not so in my case. Suffice to say that I was standing about 10 feet from my porch and swinging an enormous pole (20 feet long perhaps) up onto the porch roof and using my full body weight to pull down snow. It was surprisingly exhausting, and after an hour of work my arms felt wasted. After I got inside, I told my wife that I felt like I had just run a triathlon! (I was unusually dehydrated, so that was a contributing factor.)

I worked on the roof from various angles, and there were times that I was able to stand closer and look up to carefully position the rake or knock down some icicles. I could tell that my inner ears were disturbed by this. I felt a bit unsteady and did OK in my normal activities, but I had more vertigo when I lay down in bed the following two nights. Four nights later I was strangely nauseated in bed. All in all, I’m very pleased — there really is no substitute for roof raking, so I’m not sure what I would have done if looking up had incapacitated me!