Dear Wirecutter: What’s the Best Way to Clear Snow From a Flat Roof?
// The Wirecutter
Q: Our home is a mid-century modern home in the Washington DC region with 4,000 square feet of flat roof when you factor in overhangs, porches, etc. What we can’t sort out is: What’s the most effective way of removing snow from a residential flat roof without breaking (in order of importance) our marriage, our backs, the roof, or our bank account?
Last year the drifts got up to our waists, and even the trusty shovels you suggested couldn’t dig it out… One even snapped under the pressure! Pretty sure it was user error, but still. We were up on our roof morning, noon, and night shoveling to keep it from collapsing.
Short of reroofing the house with heated lining (it’s currently a relatively new modified bitumen roof surface), we’ve researched commercial heated blankets meant for warming construction foundations, solar solutions, roof-friendly salts, roof-friendly snow blowers, leaf blowers strong enough for heavy snow, and a few other desperate ideas, I’m sure—but our amateur research has come up short on all of these.
Our current plan is to wait for your next iteration of snow blower recs and pick one that allows us to raise the blades so they don’t cut the roof surface, and just leave it up there for the season, but we’re afraid it won’t work for the high snow sitting on the vulnerable-to-leaking, hard-to-reach corners and edges. What do you think is the best solution for removing snow from a flat roof?
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