A little work can save your roof from damage this winter. Tom Thieding with Rural Mutual Insurance says they saw twice as many claims for roof damage from last winter — for a total of some three million dollars. This winter is already looking similar, but Thieding doesn't want you to rush onto the roof right now. “We definitely want you to take some safety precautions,” says Thieding, noting that the proper way for homeowners to deal with the problem is with a roof rake, which can be used from the ground. “If you're not able to do it yourself safely, hire a contractor. “We don't anyone going through a skylight or falling off the barn. Then we're dealing with insurance payments and claims on injuries.”
Roof rakes are relatively inexpensive — if you can still find one — especially when compared with the damages that can result from doing nothing. “Try to prevent that ice buildup that a number of homeowners say last year,” advises Theiding.