This seems to be one of those good old fashioned Maine winters. Cheer if you want, but I'm counting the days until Spring!

I had to get out the snow roof rake this morning from the basement, and I haven't had to do that for at least a couple of winters. There have already been at least two instances of buildings collapsing because of the weight of the snow, one in Bar Harbor on Cottage Street and the Houlton transfer station. With the impending 6-10 inches of snow and winter storm warning for this afternoon into tomorrow morning, I figured it would be a good idea to get some of the snow off of my porch roof and let the warmer temperatures try to melt some of the ice before we go into the deep freeze.

If you are considering raking your roof, here are some important safety tips to keep in mind

1. Watch out for electric power lines! You risk electrocution if your metallic roof rake comes in contact with a power line

2. Stay well back from the roof. Sliding snow and ice can be very heavy, and if it falls on you can injure you!

3. Don't overdo it. Roof rakes can damage your roof tiles. Take small "bites" and leave a little layer of snow on the roof, which will eventually melt away.

4. Be careful chopping ice dams. If you're using a axe or hammer or something hard, you can easily go through the tile, causing a leak. If you're putting snow or ice melt on your roof, make sure it's designed specifically for roofs.

5. If your roof is too high, or there's too much snow, consider calling a professional. Don't climb on the roof yourself!