Staying Safe While Shoveling a Maine Rooftop

With another Maine winter storm coming many people will look up at the roof and wonder if it is time to get some of the accumulated snow and ice off the roof to protect it from damage or collapse. While this is important it is also very important to protect yourself in the process.

Shoveling snow off the roof will require a snow shovel, a ladder, push broom, and a roof rake. Along with these necessities, be sure to dress appropriately for the task. Wear boots that are slip resistant (spike shoes for example), warm clothes, a suitable jacket and gloves.

Begin the chore with the roof rake; extenders are available if you need them. Pull the snow from the roof with the rake while maintaining a careful distance from the falling snow on the ground.

Whenever possible avoid needing to climb onto the roof, however it may be necessary to physically get onto the roof. In order to access the roof you may need a ladder, make certain it is of appropriate make and height (should extend at least 36” above the roof) Place it on level ground that is not ice or snow covered. Just to be safe, have someone with you to hold the base of the ladder with a wide stable grip. It is best to use an engineered fall protection device like a body harness or railing however many people at home don’t always take the same precautions that they would while at the workplace.

Once you climb onto the roof use the shovel to pull the snow in a motion that goes from top to bottom. Do not get carried away shoveling snow off the roof. Leave a thin layer of snow to protect the roof from the elements.

Another great option is to hire a professional who has the right safety equipment and is trained in rooftop safety. Then you can simply sit back, enjoy a hot cup of coffee, and watch from in front of the woodstove!

Stay Safe, at home and at work!

Matt Timberlake – Vice President

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