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Excess snow buildup on a roof can be dangerous. It's not that much of a problem here in the UK, but in colder countries it can be a big problem. I've seen pictures of people cleaning the snow off their rooves with shovels. The dangers of potentially falling from the roof when loosened snow gives way
and falls from the roof are clear, and it struck me that there ought to be a way to make an automatic system for roof clearing. The Idea comes from the De-icer gear on the leading edge of most aircraft wings.
The Idea requires a sloped roof, with the de-icer fixed to the roof ridge.
The device could work in either of two ways.
1) A sealed rubber tube that can be inflated with hot air to dislodge snow from the ridge.
2)An electrical heater element that can melt the snow from the ridge.
In either case, with the snow dislodged from the roof ridge the rest should then slide off the roof to either side(Maybe some form of motor to deliver a jolt to the roof to shake it free could be added?). Sort of like triggering a controled avalanche like those used on potentialy dangerous mountain slopes.
recent Polish tragedy
[po, Jan 30 2006]
here's a baked version
[xandram, Jan 30 2006]
It better be good
I had to scrape my windows this morning. Man, did that suck. [bristolz, Jan 31 2006]
||I dunno, the shovel works well enough here in Ohio; its also really not that big of a road hazard, either, when it falls off it falls to the ground at ~35-45 mph. Maybe crushing an innocent snow turtle (?).
||The sealed rubber tube idea is used on ships, IIRC.
In Arctic environments, icing on masts and superstructures can cause (or exacerbate) capsizes.
||The college I went to in Maine had these things on the buildings. They were some kind of heating element placed near the eaves on top of the roof.
||Well I Did say I got the idea from the de-icing gear carried on aircraft wings. I didn't know about the version for ships but I can see how excess ice would be a problem for them too.
My idea was kind of to disloge snow that was getting too thick and causing a risk of roof colapse, a little snow on a roof is nice.
||My neighbor has one of these, not exactly sure how it works. I'm too tired to mfd this, though...