The roof is often the most neglected component of a structure until something goes wrong. Whether a residential or commercial building, maintaining the roof protects the investment that’s accruing in the property. With winter upon us, roof maintenance and snow removal take on added importance.
Snow accumulates on rooftops during Canadian winters – this is a given. Depending on the depth and water content, the snowpack will exert different loads. Wet, heavy snow can weigh up 20 pounds/cubic foot. For a 1,000-square-foot roof, that’s a snow load of 20,000 pounds, or the weight of a school bus! Even light, fluffy snow can exert a force up to seven pounds/cubic foot. That’s equivalent to 7,000 pounds or two Ford Mustangs for a 1,000-square-foot roof!
Roof collapse is, by far, the most severe consequence of accumulated snow. However, there are other less-known hazards – ice dams and interior seepage – that can cause significant damage to structures. There’s also the potential for liability from falling snow and ice. Hundreds of people are injured every year from snow and ice falling from rooftops. Property owners can be responsible if they haven’t taken steps to prevent these conditions.
A better mouse trap
PolarMade, a Quebec manufacturer, didn’t set out to reinvent the rooftop snow-removal market. But after years of climbing ladders and shoveling snow, brothers-in-law, Benoit Mercier and Benoit Lavallée did look to design a safer and more effective rooftop snow tool.
The result was the SnowPeeler, a contractor-grade, rooftop snow removal tool with an attached vinyl slide. The SnowPeeler design incorporates a rectangular, tapered cutting frame that slices through both fresh and hard-packed snow. The attached slide expedites the flow of snow off the roof with gravity doing most of the work. The sectional handle extends quickly to 30 feet, enabling property owners to easily clear low-pitch and higher rooftops. In comparison to traditional tools, the SnowPeeler is two-to-three times faster than snow rakes and shovels, and is safely used with both feet on the ground.
“If you’re a property owner, you want to do your best to keep snow from building up on your roof. This ensures the integrity of the building while minimizing potential liability from falling snow and ice. Selecting the right snow removal tools is key. You want a commercial-grade product that can withstand our harsh winters. You also want a tool that is both safe and easy to use. That’s what we had in mind when we developed SnowPeeler,” says Benoit Mercier, co-founder of PolarMade.
Maintaining roofs during the winter protects the investment in the property. Choosing the right snow removal tool is also an investment – not just of money, but of time and energy.
One roof at a time
With this being just their second year in business, PolarMade has built a significant presence in the North American market. Their retail partner network covers 700+ locations, including Canada’s largest hardware and home improvement stores such as Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, Timber Mart, Kent, BMR, and Patrick Morin. In the U.S., PolarMade has partnered with True Value and Menards. SnowPeeler has also found success in the tool rental market with companies such as Simplex.
In addition, PolarMade has received industry recognition for their rapid achievement. Last year, the company was recognized by AQMAT for Innovation in Marketing and Product Value. This past November, SnowPeeler was featured on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, receiving offers from all six dragons.
By introducing new snow removal tools throughout 2019, PolarMade looks to extend its mission by developing innovative solutions that simplify strenuous outdoor tasks, saving its customers time and effort while keeping them safe.