Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for December 15th, 2019

Productive Avalanche

leave a comment »

It occurs to me that a key reason I become excited enough about a product to proselytize to others about its features is when my initial disbelief is dashed by a performance that actually meets what was advertised. When I first saw roof rakes for removing snow by the use of a plastic sheet, I figured theory wouldn’t be able to live up to the challenges of reality.

I’ve raked a lot of snow off a fair number of roofs. Conditions are rarely ideal. I doubted the advertised ease of sliding the snow down on a plastic sheet. Oh my, it comes down so well I was almost knocked down by it.

When we were replacing boards on our deck a few months ago, I discovered a disconcerting amount of granules from our shingles on the ground below. It was enough to get me to take a chance on trying out this different technique.

Enter the Avalanche roof rake!

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

From the clean and simple design, making it easy to assemble and use, to the speed and ease with which I brought down blocks of snow, the Avalanche roof rake has earned my highest praise. The only thing I can’t testify to after this first use is the longevity of that plastic sheet.

I abused it a fair amount in my attempts to navigate our angles and the existing icy edges. It folded and twisted multiple times, which experience tells me is potentially damaging.

Knowing our roof presented angles that would be problematic for the plastic sheet technique, I elected to order a second option, the Deluxe Rake head, which swaps out easily. This is basically the same as my old aluminum rake, but with the added feature of rollers that keep it from scraping directly on the granules of the asphalt shingles.

Yesterday’s first use proved to be an excellent test, as the condition of snow and ice on our roof was as bad as ever, due to the significant rainfall we suffered prior to an accumulation of snow at the end of November.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

If you look closely at the picture on the right above, it is possible to see there is a base layer of frozen snow beneath the deeper powder on top. It took the Deluxe head to break that up enough for me to pull it down. I also needed to use that head to drag the valleys between our two main roof surfaces.

The combination of the two options worked perfectly to accomplish the job well and did so with much less wear and tear on our shingles.

I got half of the roof done yesterday, and will be out today to finish the other side of the house. One thing I learned is that I should move the ladder farther back from the roof. While using the plastic sheet from where I was positioned yesterday, I got a face-full of snow shooting down at me in the worst way.

It’s a thrill to have so much snow coming down off the roof so quickly, but not all that great when it is hitting you right in the face.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

December 15, 2019 at 11:05 am