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Discussion Starter #1
Just curious if any of you guys offer roof raking services. I am talking about residential stuff like houses and garages. In my area the purpose would be so ice dams don't build up rather that weight issues. We don't get enough snow here to worry about the weight collapsing anything. Is it profitable for you? Do you have a large demand for it or do you have to really try to sell it? Do you only work from the ground or ladder to get what you can, or do you go on the roof and get all the snow off? Have you had to increase your insurance coverage to be able to offer this service?

Any insight is appreciated.
 

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There's a big demand for this in my area and my two sons did it on their own a few years ago when they were in high school. One son fell off a roof, but had a pretty soft landing in a big snow pile. They made pretty good money. You will need to climb on the roof, working from a ladder won't work. First, the strain to your arms is tremendous. Second, you're pulling the snow on top of youomg . The biggest danger, as far as I'm concerned is the condition of the roof and possibility of falling through. You might also be liable for damage whether you did it or not, since you can't prove the condition before you worked up there.

I looked into it when I started plowing, but the added insurance was a killer. Once your feet leave the ground, rates go with you.

If you decide to do it, I'd suggest being especially leery of the residential "flat roof".
 

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We avoid it - insurance / liability issues. There are some local window cleaning companies that also offer these services. They already have the insurance and workman's comp in place for high work. This is really its own specialty. If the ice dams are not removed properly, it can tear off part of the roof, or big chunks of ice falling off can damage decks, break patio doors, etc.
 

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Seems like there is a market for small contractors to make a killing: Properly venting peoples attics so they don't get ice dams.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses. I figured that the necessary extra insurance would be steep. I was just kicking the idea around but the more I think about it the less interested I become- lol. Besides the personal risk of falling off, falling through or electricuting yourself, can you imagine what the home owner would say to their bushes and plantings being trampled by the snow you pull off the roof, or on their deck, or on their sidewalk! Once that snow comes off it's like concrete. I think I just talked myself out of persuing this.
 

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Here the guys get $100/hr. still want to talk your self out of it?
 

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Just got back from northern wisconsin hunting trip, got to talking with a fellow at the Mahogony Ridge.
He said most guys up there are not insured. He also said the guys who were legit paid 25.00 an hour plus for laborers.
At that rate he mentioned you could not find help !!! This is an area were carpenters make 15.00 an hour tops.
If I recall he mentioned most people wanted seasonal contracts that averaged 600 a year for 3 visits. The other thing he mentioned was home owners insurance will not pay for cave in's caused by snow, kinda like flood insurance I guess.
I dont think you will have much luck selling that service in southern Wisco though, unless we get a really good winter.
Todd
 

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Discussion Starter #8
DWAN,

I am guessing you get a bunch more snow in your location than I do here. I doubt around here people would pay $100.00 an hour but you never know. Always thinking of new ways to generate revenue and never noticed any discussion about roof raking. Thought maybe I could take advantage of an un-tapped market but it still remains to be seen if I have a market for it at all here.

T-Zab,

Thanks for your input too. Winter gets boring around here waiting for it to snow so I am always thinking of new ways to make money and keep me busy. I have not noticed any ads for services offered locally in the papers and such for roof raking. I thought either un-tapped market or not a market at all. Who knows? I may still persue this, not sure. Thanks for the input guys.
 

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Roof RaCKING?

I read the Roof Racking article & Ztab was closes to what people PAY in this Area! I know a couple that Specilize in removing Heavy Snows from Roofs & no One here that I know of?? has Insurance just Use Common Scense I have removed snow from roofs for years as I have 10 out of state summer visiters that have Cottages & Camps here & in Mid & late Winter as thats usualy when WE get heavy Snow storms & the local weather-man will Warn of the Depths on Roofs & of a heavy Rain comming in the next few days as foot-1/2 of Snow w/ an expected heavy Rain an inch or More? every square foot of Snow On Roofs could Weigh as much as 50 to 60 lbs? & thats a NO NO! as its Gotta be Removed! & in reading the article I had to Chuckel Insurance! no one could Afford IT & I don*t know any one that Has IT Here $25.00 an Hour is about Right Price Wise & in all my Yrs I have never Fallen Off ONE & the mention of destroying Shubry? a None Consern as most Here cover Shrubs w/ Plywood 'A' frames I place a ladder to Get On the Roof & start at the Peak & Shovel a Narrow strip on each Side 3 feet wide GO back down & hook a rope to my small snow blower which straddels my Home made Ladder sides--w/ the Wheels just out side of the ladder runners & carefully Pull it UP onto the Roof & get it Started-- & Blow the main roof OFF leaveing aprox 3 feet on the Eves & Leaving a couple of Inches on the Roof Don*t Try to Clean it Down to the Shingles as the Shingles are COLD & Break Easy! so Walk Soft! then I lower my Blower just Reverse of getting it Up there! & from the Ground I use my Rack on the Edge I left--Works Great NO Problems! I don*t charge by the Hour!--but--by the Roof as each Roof is Totally Differant & after I*M Done I shovel Off Steps--Oil tanks--& what Ever? got coverd? w/ the Snow that Fell Off the Roof! & never have had a Complaint of Damaged Shingels or any other Damages & I used to have a Plower Plow out the Driveway so I could get as close as possible to the Roof as Dragging equipment through Deep Snow--Ladder shovel & Blower & Rake Don*t wanna Do That! Now I have my Own 4X4 so I don*t hire aplower any more! & I also Do my Home my Sons & the Taxi Office & Garage I made my Own Ladder & Rake as I Do most of my Stuff as most Tools I look over are Good but NOT exactally what I need--as all the Roof Rakes even the Expensive Ones are To Flimsey for ME! I made Mine out of Aircraft Tubbing Nice & Light & stronger than the Ones You can BUY & I have One very expensive Cottage that the Roofs Eves are near 30 feet High so I just Leave the Snow on the Eves & Salt the Top area from on the Roof & it allways Melts & falls Off in a couple of Days! the Secret to Removing Snow from Roofs is Take Your TIME & be Extra Carefull & Wear Boots w/ Knobs on the Soles as it Can & often Does get Slippery up There! --Ole JIM--
 
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