Last winter we looked at the Schneestop, a European roof-mounted invention for preventing snow buildup from falling off of a slanted roof. Because you don't want to be standing under it when this happens:
Or parked under a snowy roof when this happens:
Thing is, the roof-avalanche-preventing Schneestop is good for Alpine houses where the weight of heavy snow has been factored into the strength of the roof design. But the roof on your average American house may not be built to handle the weight. Also, if a roof is not properly vented, when snow builds up, the heat from the house can melt the underlayer into water. As that water runs downward, it freezes at the bottom, creating a potentially dangerous ice dam.
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So in the spirit of better-safe-than-sorry, folks use a variety of contraptions to remove snow buildup from slanted roofs before it becomes a hazard. However, no one has designed a home-run product yet. There are roof rakes, like the Snow Cutter, and you can see how laborious it is to use below. (No need to sit through the whole video, ten seconds gives you the idea.)
Initially, this Avalanche Roof Snow Removal Tool seems to be a better design:
However, while they claim it works in "any amount of snow," in the first 20 seconds of this video below you can see it's not so easy:
This Swedish take on the design adds a clever vertical slicer that seems much more effective for higher piles:
The Snow Lance adds a second vertical:
However, all of these designs have one problem in common: The removed snow falls directly towards the user, which you can see in the first few seconds of this video, featuring a product of a similar design:
Some folks eschew these tools altogether, and instead clear one entire side of the roof at a time using a wire. You can skip the beginning of this next video and start watching at 1:20 to see it in action:
But that method, of course, requires you to climb up onto your roof to set the wire, something a lot of folks might not be comfortable with.
One guy who is comfortable climbing up on roofs also managed to clear one side all at once, though this was clearly not the plan:
Likewise for this woman—it doesn't take long to realize something is going to go wrong:
So, clearly there is a problem here in need of a well-designed solution. Got any ideas?