One of the simplest ways to keep ice dams from forming is raking your roof. This is not done with a rake you would use for leaves, or a regular snow shovel. There is a special roof rake that usually extends 10-20 feet so you can easily reach the snow on most of the roof. Depending on the size and quality, a decent roof rake can be found for $30 to $50. These are very lightweight and easy to use, and they eliminate the need for a ladder. The best way to keep ice from forming when using a roof rake is to continuously keep the snow off the roof, and start as early in the season as possible. If there is just a light dusting of snow, there’s no need to rake the roof. Several inches of snow is when it starts to matter. It would be best to rake the roof before shoveling the snow on the ground, to avoid having to shovel twice. To use the roof rake, simply start by raking the snow on the front most part of the roof, and gradually work your way back. Be careful in the process only to pull forward, and not to scrape backwards, which can potentially damage shingles by pushing against them.