Does Roof Raking Prevent Ice Dams? Learn These Before You Do It

Most people choose to rake the roof to reduce or prevent ice dams. However, you should know that roof raking can also go bad if not done properly.

Does Roof Raking Prevent Ice Dams? Here’s When It Can Go Wrong

Using the rake to completely remove all of the snow on the roof can help prevent the ice dams. Moreover, it also helps to reduce weight and prevent the roof from collapsing. Inches of snow exceeding this threshold might necessitate taking action.

does roof raking prevent ice dams

But if you can only rake some of the snow, which means there is still some snow left on the roof, it can damage your roof if not done carefully. The reason is that although ice dams are usually formed in the eaves, it turns out ice dams can also form above the heated parts of the roof.

This can happen when you only rake parts of the snow, usually only 3 to 6 feet up, and create a cold edge. Then, an ice dam will soon form in the valley of your roof and the gutters. This is why it is important to do roof raking correctly to prevent ice dams from forming completely.

The Correct Way to Do Roof Racking

Does roof raking prevent the ice dams? Yes, it does, but you need to do it correctly. Try to start at the base first, then work your way up. But be very careful when raking the flashing and gutter area.

You must handle the rake gently since rough handling can bend the material, increasing the leak potential. Try to clear as much snow as possible from the roof to ensure there is no area where ice dams can form. When buying a roof rake, it’s a good idea to visit your local hardware store to get advice on the best model for your home.

If your house is only one story high, then you can easily remove the snow on your roof from the ground. However, doing roof raking yourself might be dangerous if your house is higher. Do not use a ladder or go on your roof to rack it. It is better to get help from a professional instead.

READ :  Raising the Roof on a House: Everything You Need to Know

Read also: How to Remove Snow from Roof with Wire

Always monitor nearby power lines and ensure they are not obstructed or at risk during the raking process.

Is Roof Raking Necessary?

Whether it is necessary depends on how much snow accumulates on your roof. In normal winter conditions, you might not see a lot of snow build up on your roof. What if there is only a small amount of snow on your roof?

If that is the case, it is alright to leave the snow as it can be used as a natural insulator. It can help reduce the energy cost needed to heat your house. So, as long as it is still within the limit, roof raking is unnecessary since your roof is designed to hold some weight. However, consider the air temperature as it plays a crucial role in ice dam formation.

When Should You Rake Snow Off Your Roof?

Usually, your roof can support around 2 to 4 feet of snow as the limit. So, you might want to start raking if you see the snow accumulation surpasses the limit. You do not need to rake the snow that falls over the skylight; you can water it to melt it.

Read also: 7 Steps of How to Build Roof Trusses

What is important is to clear away the snow around the siding, exhaust vents, and chimney flashing. You also need to remove the snow from the gutter liners even if it is already clogged since it may create ice dams if you do not remove it.

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Roofing Expert is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair.