Blizzard Hacks: Build a Clever Avalanche Roof Rake

Blizzard Hacks: Build a Clever Avalanche Roof Rake


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Those of us who live in areas of the world that get appreciable snow accumulation know the worry of having too much snow on your roof. The snow is bad enough, but add rain and ice into the mix and you have a potentially serious problem literally hanging over your head. A traditional roof rake is the most common solution, but they require lots of pulling effort and are frequently used with the operator best positioned on the roof or on a ladder, which can be dangerous.

Enter this Scandinavian invention, the “avalanche” roof snow removal tool. These, you push to create a mini avalanche of snow that sluices right down off the roof with minimal effort. Commercially, these go for around US$150, but you can make one yourself. The above videos show two slightly different approaches. In the topmost vid, YouTuber Kntryhart builds one from scrap electrical conduit, plastic bags, and the pole from an old traditional snow rake. In the bottom video, ByteSizeImages builds one from new Home Depot parts for about $40.


Of all of the designs I looked at online, the above rake, with a bigger U-shaped aluminum “box” instead of a blade, seemed to be the most effective.


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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


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