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Roof Snow Removal using birds

 
Posts: 37
Location: Boise, Idaho
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We're relatively new to living in snow country and the need to rake snow off of the roof.  One day last year we couldn't get out of the garage because the snow slid down into an icy four foot pile overnight just in from of the garage door, so we have made and purchased various roof rakes, but they catch on the screws of our metal roof.

The only easy solution we have come up with is to throw non-sprouting seed up there and have the winter birds claw around to loosen the snow.  Anyone have other solutions without just using ice melt or other chemicals?
 
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Location: Ohio, USA
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The bird thing is genius! I was taught things like old ash and realy any other dark stuff, just changes the albito (reflectiveness) which makes snow melt more.  We don't need to shovel/rake here on roofs, but on the ground I found a regular house hold broom works best when the snow is fresh, it's almost fun... the first two times.
 
steward
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I'm not sure if this would catch on your roofing screws or not but it's designed to roll up the roof under the snow and let it slide down the plastic film.  Amazon link for "Avalanche" snow removal device
 
Amit Enventres
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Just a thought- since the whole reason for this is ice in front of your door, maybe you could instead direct the snow/ice away from that spot as it melts using a rope or chain or gutter?
 
pollinator
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Jane Bartlett wrote:We're relatively new to living in snow country and the need to rake snow off of the roof.  One day last year we couldn't get out of the garage because the snow slid down into an icy four foot pile overnight just in from of the garage door, so we have made and purchased various roof rakes, but they catch on the screws of our metal roof.

The only easy solution we have come up with is to throw non-sprouting seed up there and have the winter birds claw around to loosen the snow.  Anyone have other solutions without just using ice melt or other chemicals?



If this actually works, then it's the most genius idea of 2018!
 
Jane Bartlett
Posts: 37
Location: Boise, Idaho
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Mike Jay wrote:I'm not sure if this would catch on your roofing screws or not but it's designed to roll up the roof under the snow and let it slide down the plastic film.  Amazon link for "Avalanche" snow removal device



Thanks Mike.  We made a similar one, and it will take off some snow, but still catches on the roof screws when we get down to within about 1.5 inches of the metal.  And the edge height and angle really limit being able to push anything up the roof line on most of the roof.

Major problem is where it builds up over the garage door where the garage ties into the house at an "L."  That part of house has a north slope so it doesn't get much sun to melt it off.

Amit:  We did put up gutters, but when we get a good snow it comes off in sheets over the gutter and splats down on the driveway.  The gutters help mostly to redirecting rain to help stop erosion (house is on a slope), and capturing water for storage.

And Nick: it does work!  (somewhat - and slowly)  Depends on the type, number and hunger of birds around at the time, but we've found that more trees and plants = more winter cover = more birds.  The type and quality of the seed also makes a difference.
 
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